View Full Version : Love Taps

31st May 2014, 01:36 AM
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Theatre Review by Lisa Romeo
What: Love Taps
Where: La Mama Courthouse
When: 29 May – 8 June
Writer: Anna Lall
Director and Choreographer: Shannon Woollard
Performers: Jacob Pruden, Andrew Brown, JD Ness, Thomas Kay, Katharine Innes and Shannon Woollard
Set Design: Shannon Woollard, Maus White
Lighting Design: Lapin Blanc
Sound Design: Chris Boek, Shannon Woollard
Love Taps is fundamentally about the embedded values and beliefs of the Australian male and the bonds of mateship. Interestingly it is written by a female, Anna Lall, who with much sensitivity explores the struggles that men face in attaining satisfying relationships, whether it is on a friendship level or on an intimate one.
The stage is set as the interior of an old pub, complete with a bar, comfy couch and chairs, while the plot centres on an AFL coach and his best players. The boys are on a night out at the local after a big win; the mood is relaxed and everyone is drinking and slowly getting drunk. While on the surface it’s the usual ‘boys will be boys’ behaviour - the nudge and wink type of carry on – beneath the surface the obvious underlying issue is put aside.
The star full forward Jesse Cosgrave, played by the very distinguished and handsome Jacob Pruden, makes the difficult decision to come out publicly on 60 Minutes to reveal that he is homosexual and proud of it; this is before breaking the news to his teammates and coach. This otherwise typical drunken night out after a game suddenly becomes very interesting. The feisty, charismatic female bartender plays witness to some real secret men’s business.
Love Taps is more than just a story about homophobia and the ‘coming out of the closet’, it also deals with many other complex relationships - the loud ‘man’s man’ authoritarian coach and his interaction with his players, who is facing his own struggles with his ‘footy widow’ wife; the young, heterosexual man, confident and handsome, attracted to the pretty bartender; his loud mouth, crude teammate, who is also heterosexual, (or is he?). After the news that his mate is gay he becomes confused about his own sexuality and begins to question the meaning of the hugs and pats on the butt on the footy field.
While essentially depicting the close bond between members of sporting teams, how they look out for each other, the brotherhood they feel and the camaraderie no matter what, Love Taps also manages to delve deep into a sacred dark place, where most would rather it remained unexplored.
Director Shannon Woollard successfully brings to life an all too familiar theme; you can relate to the characters as though they are people we all know, while the cast of six also deliver good and convincing acting; the characters are genuine and believable. I loved the sensitivity in which the relationship issues are deciphered and cleverly unfold, all the while combining the use of light-hearted humour.
A definite recommendation from me.
3.5 Stars