‘This Is A Love Story’ Is An Engaging Musical That Explores Environmental Issues: Review

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this is a love story

★★★★

Performed at Dundee Rep during COP26, This Is A Love Story is a pop musical that explores climate change. The musical tells the 200,000-year-old love story between Earth (played by Holly Liburd) and Humanity (played by Alicia Corrales-Connor). At first, their relationship is strong, and Earth greatly values Humanity’s company over dinosaurs and primates. But soon, cracks begin to form, and Earth begins to tire of Humanity’s messy habits and manipulative ways.

There is fantastic chemistry between Liburd and Corrales-Connor. Corrales-Connor nails the role of the seemingly loving, yet abusive partner, and Liburd brings the necessary vulnerability—and later, anger—to the role of Earth. Both actresses have great voices, and effectively tackle the variety of musical styles that the show has to offer.

The songs—written by Jack Godfrey with additional lyrics by Ellie Coote—are catchy and incredibly clever. Each song is a love song, but they are filled with references to nature to fit with the main theme of the show. In one, Earth states that her friends believe that Humanity is a coal digger. Another frames the moon landing as Humanity cheating on Earth: Earth wonders why Humanity has chosen to explore rather than work on their problems, and Humanity eventually returns to Earth, stating they saw Earth from another angle and realised their true beauty. These witty lyrics mean that the show’s key theme is at the forefront of the audiences’ minds, while ensuring the musical never feels preachy.

There were a couple of technical blips throughout the performance: the actresses’ mics weren’t always turned up in time for the start of the songs, and one sharp camera pan in the middle of one of Earth’s softer songs feels particularly jarring. But considering the rest of the technical effects, this can be forgiven. The song lyrics are projected onto a screen behind the actresses, alongside graphics of nature. This innovative form of creative captioning fits seamlessly with the performance, and I would love to see this used in more theatre productions.

The musical was a pleasure to watch, and conveys a strong message that is highly relevant in today’s climate. I’m greatly looking forward to seeing the production’s future development.

Tickets to watch This Is A Love Story on demand can be purchased until 9pm on 17 November from the Dundee Rep website.

Words by Ellen Leslie


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