How does one know who to trust? I remember having a conversation with a leading theatrical voice coach about the sort of knowledge needed to make sense of an epic piece about love, such as Shakespeare’s play “As you like it”. He was comparing the ability of two different theatre directors to capture the essence of what the bard aimed to express about the love of the play’s two central characters Rosalind and Orlando.
The expert spoke of the simplicity of shared moments between lovers, sitting in front of a television set, drinking cocoa. Perhaps he was being judgemental about the personal lives of the two directors in question, placing more value on the quality of one person’s intimate relationship with a partner over the intimate involvement of the other person’s.
There could be some truth in what my colleague was suggesting, simply because Shakespeare was making observations about a particular type of relationship, or form of love. This doesn’t mean that tenderness of the heart and sharing of trust between people can be defined in an absolute way.
And what happens to those of us who don’t partake in those experiences? Perhaps we don’t all have to make public statements about what shared love bonds can feel like. There are many other aspects of the human condition that are also important for folks to reflect upon.
What happens when lovers don’t manage to keep their promises in a relationship? Does one person do this sort of thing to another from a position of selfishness, weakness, lack of discipline or vulnerability? There are also valuable insights to be shared about these sorts of relationship dynamics. I am currently working with a team for Utopia Theatre in developing a new theatre piece that deals with the disappointment that is felt by women who invest in their partner’s lives, only to eventually find that they have been left high and dry. Shadows in different shades will be playing at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre on the 24th and 25th of May – hopefully there will be other opportunities to present the work in the not too distant future.