Review: The Power of Love, Courtyard Theatre
Published in Time Out, 31.03.2010
William Shakespeare, John Lennon, Jesus Christ, Richard Curtis – can you hear me, Richard Curtis? Your poetic notions of love took one hell of a beating courtesy of Tony J Williams’s bungled sci-fi rom-com.
Williams uses a regenerated clone incapable of understanding emotions, let alone feeling them, in order to proffer a string of clunky profundities about the ineffable nature of love with all the credibility of a sex-ed video. His characters speak in hackneyed proverbs, covering identity, the gender gap, euthanasia and the essence of religious faith without achieving anything remotely insightful. Add the sort of pseudo-scientific hokum that not even the most gullible technophobe could swallow and the result is insufferably vacuous.
Not to be outdone, Ilmar Taska directs as if choreographing a Benny Hill chase sequence, casually tossing in the odd moment of half-hearted physical theatre for good measure. Christoph Dostal is unswervingly monotonous as the robotic Matt, which leads Anna Winslet into over-compensation and drove me to dreams of the sweet numbness of automata.
Photograph: Dominic Old