How many of us are lucky enough to say we really know what love is? Is it a feeling? A mystery? A certain state of mind? Whether you’re one of the lucky ones or not, we daresay you’ve had an experience or two with love – good, bad or somewhere in between. And that’s who I Want To Know What Love Is is for: anyone and everyone who’s ever loved.
Hitting the Civic Theatre for one night only in March, I Want To Know What Love Is takes a whirlwind journey through love with Queensland performance collective, The Good Room. It’s a show with a difference: the content of each performance is based on anonymous submissions from members of the public – some of whom might even be in the audience.
Back in 2014, The Good Room put the call out for anonymous love stories to be submitted. Memories, confessions and tales spanning the spectrum from passion to heartbreak poured in. The result was I Want To Know What Love Is: a transformation of those secret submissions into a unique, on-stage amalgam of love in all its forms.
The show has been a resounding success, putting on two sold-out seasons in Brisbane before heading to Melbourne in 2017. It’s now on a national tour throughout 2019, stopping in Newcastle for a one-night stand on March 22nd.
With over 800 stories of love submitted, it’s no surprise that I Want To Know runs the gamut of human emotion. The hour-long experience is heartfelt, hilarious, hopeful and devastating by turns. But don’t be mistaken in thinking the show is just performers reading out submissions – it’s so much more than that.
It’s a feast for the eyes and the emotions, full of energetic, physical performances from its four stars. Stories, movement and music are combined with strobes, smoke machines and hundreds-upon-thousands of rose petals strewn about the stage, creating an experience as immersive and intense as first love.
The moments and memories explored through the show have resonated with audiences all around the country. For some, it’s the surreal and surprising experience of seeing their own submission brought to life on the stage. For others, it’s the thought that a submission might be from someone they know, or someone sitting next to them in the audience. But for everyone, the real crux of I Want To Know is one particularly heartening notion: you are not alone in your experiences of love and loss.
A quick word of warning – this is one show you might be more comfortable seeing with a partner or a group of friends than your family members! It’s intense and can be explicit, but never distasteful; it’s just an open and honest exploration of the messy, mysterious thing called love. As one review from the Sydney Morning Herald recommends: ‘Bring tissues, but not your mum.’
I Want To Know What Love Is forms the second chapter of an ambitious triptych from The Good Room called ‘We Want To Know’. It was preceded by I Should Have Drunk More Champagne, a show exploring submissions on the theme of regret, and followed by I Just Came To Say Goodbye, a collection of anonymous apologies. This love-themed middle chapter rounds out a theatrical experiment that’s set on changing the way people experience contemporary performance.
If you’re ready to spend an hour laughing, crying and challenging everything you thought you knew about love, you don’t want to miss this truly original production. Tickets start at $48 for adults, $38 for Civic subscribers, $42 for concession holders and $30 for youth aged 16–21. (Please note the show is not suitable for those under 16 due to adult content). Find all the details in the Season 2019 section of the Civic Theatre website. And if you’re brave enough to submit your own story of love for the chance to be included in the show, head to www.wewantyourlove.com to tell your tale!