By Philip Caunter
67 min | Drama | PG
Calling love a battlefield may not make much sense unless you’ve been in love, or maybe been in love a few times. The notion is partly romantic but also speaks to pain, injury, and confusion – all the things other than triumph that come with love and war. Actors Vanessa Quesnelle and Martin Dockery play out such a battle in fine form, each shining as a sage and weary veteran. In the hands of these two the tension in this play is riveting. They push and pull at each other with careful dancing and glancing blows, using defence as offence, and playing like nothing is at stake but carefully putting more and more on the line.
Everything that’s said is probing, keeping things hidden, and defending with questions throughout this intricate script. Quesnelle and Dockery play their roles tightly and are very entertaining. As the entire thing is two players acting a single scene, a lot rests on whether they can enliven their sustained interaction through the whole play. The buildup is somewhat slow but ramps up nicely. If you can find yourself caring about either character you’ll be gripped till the end wondering how it will all turn out.
Looking for weak points in this play is a challenge. The characters are well-formed, the performances great and the script gives them a lot of quality lines and moments to work with. The story itself is somewhat weak in parts, with the exception of a strong ending. It’s not that it’s beyond belief per se, but to enjoy it you will have to embrace the overt theatricality of the story and overlook some of the improbabilities of some of what’s being said and done. Perhaps that’s just me, though – this is theatre, and it’s named after a love song. Maybe the improbable is more likely here than one would think.
Love is a Battlefield is playing at BYOV-A: The Courtroom on Saturday, June 18 at 10:00pm; Monday, June 20 at 8:30pm; Tuesday, June 21 at 6:00pm; Thursday, June 23 at 7:00pm; Friday, June 24 at 5:30pm; Saturday, June 25 at 9:30pm; and Sunday, June 26 at 2:30pm.
Tickets are $12.