REVIEW: Two Hearts
Reviewed by Lara Franzi
Laura Lethlean shares with us an experience of true heartache, capturing a dwindling relationship from an outside view. In each of Lethlean’s plays she is constantly driving forth a strong message that leaves us with new ideas. She is confident in what she portrays across her stage, bringing out a collection of emotions and ideas that twirl around within our mind.
Two Hearts doesn’t take us inside a new world; it takes us down a forgotten road within our lives, to a party that’s not really our scene. It takes us into many new possibilities of relationships, with the people living beside us. We hear our own words in the actors’ mouths and feel the butterflies in our stomachs. It’s an honest romance that wants to survive. Playing the pair are Damon Manns and Eliza Scott, powerful actors that fit together hand in hand, both bringing life into their characters. Designer and sound compositor Jess Dunn shapes us into their world, through the subtly of her music and atmosphere to take us between locations and feelings.
The audience is easily swept up into memories of heavy eyes and racing hearts. It takes us to a familiar sight that is too often felt, and never really avoided. It’s the ache of regret, sorrow and loneliness, as a relationship begins to thin out.
Lethlean exhausts us with a performance that emotionally drains our souls. She pushes us into an authentic cyclical experience of heartbreak; from building up a friendship to trimming it down into love, and then sapping it dry as soulmates become strangers.
We start to see our own mistakes portrayed on the stage, as we become hopeful for something just a little bit different - making it easier to blame our partners for not being that. Director Jessica Arthur suspends us between holding on and letting go as we balance between these two different minds.
It draws us back to our pointless arguments and impossible expectations within relationships, picking at our problems that we wished could just have been scabbed over by having a body beside us. Holding onto a relationship is the hardest when we go through different stages, growing from youth into adulthood, as we let go of old habits and create new ones. We need different relationships for these different moments.
Two Hearts made me question what builds a strong loving relationship, whether that is just between friends, or with intimate partners. I find it’s easy just to say that friendship is the key. But I think its independence. It’s the ability to be alone without feeling lonely. For me, an ideal relationship would be to have someone invested in their own separate activities, then for us to both spend time together appreciating something we equally love.
In the beginning of our lives, we are surrounded by family. We love them dearly, but we don’t spend every single minute together. A partner becomes family. It would feel unusual for me to have someone implanted into my daily life. For a lasting relationship, we need space for creativity and freedom to expand our lives.
Lethlean’s play has made me refine my beliefs towards partnerships. To me, this play is about losing a friend, as their friendship became a relationship that mutilated casual touches and interest into a short-lived intimacy. Relationships are complicated things, that use up our emotions with paranoia and jealously. They don’t have to be exhausting, and instead can be supportive. I am truly torn between what I believe and what I practice. But after each relationship and friendship, I learn how to contribute to things a little bit differently. Two Hearts teaches us an insight into relationships from a different perspective. It reminds us that it’s common to fall out of love, and that you won’t die from a broken heart.
21 October - 1 November 2018