The director Louis Craig and musical director Gary Nock, who last year brought us the terrific A Little Night Music, once again bring a stunning amateur production to BLT with their musical version of Love Story. The terrific ensemble cast, led by Abby Fell as Jenny and Jack Ambrose as Oliver remain faithful to the story of a young couple whose love is at odds with the expectations of their families. This version though is set in modern times; the young lovers carry cell phones and use laptops while they cook pasta in their basic one room apartment.
The staging is simple yet effective: the two or three props transforming the set from restaurant to grand house to luxury Central Park facing penthouse with little more than mood lighting and scaffolding. The wonderful songs and inventive use of video screens carry the audience through the 90 minutes until we find ourselves at the denouement and it hits hard. If we don’t know it already we know it now: there is tragedy afoot and we care about this young couple, the sacrifices they are willing to make for each other and those that ultimately they have no chance to avoid. It’s a strong heart that doesn’t break at the end of this show; there was not a dry eye in the house on opening night. A wonderful show and some future young stars to watch out for.
Brighton Little Theatre, 24 September 2016