I Want to Know What Love Is was a theatre production showcased during the 2014 Brisbane Festival.
On a seasonly warm Thursday night, myself – and 228 other individuals (yet another sold-out show) found ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder in The Billie Brown Studio foyer. The BBS is located in Southbank, nestled quietly at the end of Montague Road. Which I find to be an amusing and fitting choice of location. Tonight the air is a-buzz with chatter & a sense of giddiness. Whether it’s the fact we are about to enter the “heart” of the beast – literally – I’m not sure as I’m new to the Brisbane art and theatre scene. Either way, even though i’m there alone, I can’t help but get caught up in it and feel part of something bigger than just myself. It’s a question centuries old, what is love?
Brisbane based production company, The Good Room received more than 800 submissions from loved up, broken hearted, head over heels people and moulded them into a beautiful, honest, laugh out loud, poignant, emotion stirring & nostalgia-evoking show. Over the next 60 minutes we take a roller-coaster-type ride through snapshot tales of love of every kind. It’s only appropriate the stage becomes home to intense movement, rose petals, pink-coloured lighting, loud music & a lot of hip gyrating. As love does, the show has elements of risqué and blush worthy content. It is probably not for the faint hearted or easily embarrassed. Heavy breathing and cries of “touch me harder” wasn’t off limits. Credit must go to the director and actors, who kept a realness without coming across as vulgar. The movements of the actors was fluid and although obviously specifically tailored to evoke certain emotions at certain times, were unstilted, smooth and natural. The three actors accurately hit tone, posture, gesture and facial expression throughout the entire show.
The lady beside me teared up as we heard a daughter’s submission about her love for her dying father. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her partner tenderly grab her hand and give it a squeeze. But it wasn’t all tear jerking. “Your’e a massive cunt”. First kisses in the gutter out the front of your parents house. Wine. More wine. I’m fine. I’m fiiiiiiiine. Just a sample of the words and discussions voiced on the stage making the audience laugh and nod their heads in understanding and agreement. It was a show full of blowing noses, blushing cheeks, giant grins and knowing smirks, from both actors and audience. My one critic is it ended much too soon. I once read art is suppose to make you feel something, and that’s what I Want To Know What Love Is achieved. Even when it was over, I found myself thinking about all the different types of love. And if you saw it, and didn’t make your way home thinking about a particular someone – you’re lying.