Show review by Julia Pattison: Love Bites at York Theatre Royal

Variety Evening: Love Bites

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 7:45 am
The whole evening felt like a delightful journey, connections to each other expressed exquisitely in music, dance and carefully crafted words. Photo courtesy of Tom Arber.

Venue: York Theatre Royal

Review by Julia Pattison

I think staff, performers and the audience on the opening night of Love Bites felt euphoric just to be back together again at York Theatre Royal, after we’d all been apart for over a year due to the Covid pandemic.

Delightful host Harry Gration summed up the feelings of elation when he opened the evening, by saying we were all giddy, and so began a night of electric excitement that only live performance can bring.

Congratulations to all the local talent showcased, too many to mention individually here, but each celebrating in their five minute slot, what we have been missing; a love letter to live performance.

Curated by Creative Director Juliet Forster, the evening began with a masterful delivery of York born poet W H Auden’s “O Tell Me The Truth About Love“, by local professional actor Toby Gordon.

Hot on the heels of this was the excellent The Angels of Lendal Bridge, a film poem based on newly-created writing by Robert Powell and Kitty Greenbrown, who narrated as we were drawn into the film and soundscape by artist-producer Ben Pugh. Set on a bridge over York’s River Ouse, two one hundred and fifty year old angels watched, listened and conversed.

I have to admit, it was one of my favourite pieces of the evening; I shall look at those angels in York with new eyes in future!

The senses were reeling by the interval, from Love Songs to the zany Love Bytes (Fladam aka Florence Poskitt and Adam Sowter), looking around the auditorium you could tell everyone felt the same – it was so good to be back seeing live performances.

She Can Go Anywhere by the talented Story Craft Theatre was a great choice to open up the second half of the evening, a Love Letter to storytelling, showing beautifully how when the world closes in, stories can awaken our imagination and take us on the most amazing journey.

This whole evening felt like a delightful journey, connections to each other expressed exquisitely in music, dance and carefully crafted words. Richard Kay had us all in the palm of his hand by the time he’d finished his piece For The Love Of Singing, with vocal support from choir members and projection animation by David Todd. I had a lump in my throat at Maurice Crichton’s soul searching delivery of “Where are we now, you and I ?”

“Give me your hands“ said Laura Pyner in Five Minute Call, written by Bridget Foreman, and as one, slowly, and joyfully, we all raised our hands to “connect“ with her.

A marvellous way to end this feast of local talent. To quote Harry Gration,

“This is Theatre. This is our Theatre”. Good to have you back!