Over two nights in early February, Dennis Kelly’s thought-provoking play, Love & Money, directed by Oundle School pupil, Bella Dixon Smith (18) played to captivated audiences at Oundle’s Stahl Theatre.
The play presented the audience with a patchwork quilt of scenes which all address our obsession with money, possessions and promotions and the viewer experienced a devastating example of the impact that spiralling debt can have on a relationship. The plot of the piece is there for viewers to find but is not laid bare. Revealed tantalizingly, piece by piece the full picture is not brought into one cogent whole until the final scene: a fifteen minute monologue which was brilliantly performed by Radha Mistry (18) in the role of Jess.
Bella commented, “Love and Money is a shocking, funny, tragic and thought-provoking play which holds up a cracked mirror to our world of easy credit and compulsive shopping. It depicts what it is like to struggle to be in love whilst being under the intolerable strain of debt and the shocking remedies people are forced to seek in order to make ends meet.”
Stahl Theatre Director, Naomi Jones commented, “Dennis Kelly is, I believe, one of the greatest writers of our generation. Perhaps best known for his book of the hugely successful Matilda the musical, Kelly’s previous theatre work takes on some of the most controversial issues facing modern society from terrorism to infanticide. And if theatre’s role is to challenge and to make people think, Love and Money performed at the Stahl Theatre last week certainly filled the brief.
The weighty topics were sensitively handled by the able Sixth Form cast, and director Bella Dixon Smith should be congratulated for her inventive direction, particularly of the choric sequence at the end of first act. When we are so conspicuously surrounded by wealth and security it is important to remember how quickly life can unravel without the support structures we all enjoy.”