Love is a Battlefield, created and performed by Vanessa Quesnelle and Martin Dockery, is a familiar story about love and longing. When the wife of a mafioso (Quesnelle) wants to start singing, he calls in a debt and brings in a “down-on-his-luck producer” (Dockery) to help her record a track. As the drinks start to flow and the verbal sparring begins, it soon becomes clear that business is one of the last things on their mind.
There are a number of great things to say about this performance. Quesnelle and Dockery are phenomenal actors, and their cheeky banter oozes with an overly familiar rapport and will certainly have you laughing throughout the show.
Without ever needing them to explain how their minds work, Dockery and Quesnelle are able to broadcast their characters’ feelings and motivation through the subtlest implications.
Some of this stems from the finely honed acting skills of both Dockery and Quesnelle, but also from their skills as playwright (Dockery) and dramaturge (Quesnelle), creating a script that allows them to say so much without making them say too much.
However, the reason I don’t rate this play higher, though, is its level predictability. As mentioned, this is an old story; we all typically know how the old stories go. This goes a bit beyond foreshadowing to the point of being able to accurately anticipate what will happen next. If it seems to break from the archetypal narrative, it does so only briefly.
That being said, people don’t complain when Shakespeare is revisited for the umpteenth time, with a director trying to get ever closer to a perfect retelling of some of the most commonly known dramatic tales out there. It’s speculation, but perhaps this is no different.
Perhaps this is Dockery and Quesnelle’s attempt at nailing down a certain story in a near perfect retelling. And if that’s true, I have to admit, it’s a pretty cool motivation to be working from.
But that’s just what I thought. Leave your own thoughts in the comment section below, or check out a performance of Love is a Battlefield at one of the times below.
BYOV A – The Courtroom
Thursday, June 16 – 9:30PM
Friday, June 17 – 6PM
Saturday, June 18 – 10PM
Sunday, June 19 – 3:30PM
Monday, June 20 – 8:30PM
Tuesday, June 21 – 6PM
Thursday, June 23 – 7PM
Friday, June 24 – 5:30PM
Saturday, June 25 – 9:30PM
Sunday, June 26 – 2:30PM