After London National Theatre, Paris Odéon-Théâtre, Schaubühne Berlin, and Wiener Festwochen, Bitef too will have the pleasure of showing one of the most wanted productions in the world, whose author and director is Alexander Zeldin, and after which the BBC produced a movie of the same name. It is a part of Zeldin’s trilogy The Inequalities, which, as the title suggests, tackles social issues. The performance Love follows destinies of several people driven to a homeless shelter by adverse circumstances, loss of home, homeland, and/or job. The intensity of their destinies, excellent realistic acting, and a very convincing setting, makes us believe it is based on documentary material although it is fiction, albeit a hyperrealist one. The title is in stark contrast with this raw and cruel material, but only seemingly so - no matter how dismal and difficult the lives of the protagonists may be, what characterizes them are human dignity and love for their closed ones.
About the Production
In the run up to Christmas, three families are placed into cramped temporary, emergency accommodation. A middle-aged man and his elderly mum, a young family with a baby on the way, a newly arrived woman from Sudan. Strangers. Forced together. No space is personal. As Christmas approaches, and none of them seem likely to be given a home, they come to boiling point. In this play, written and directed by Alexander Zeldin, the audience are invited to bear witness to an intimate story of family love for our times.
ALEXANDER ZELDIN is an Associate Artist at the National Theatre in London, the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, CDN Normandie-Rouen and Les Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg. His critically acclaimed trilogy of plays THE INEQUALITIES - which includes Beyond Caring; LOVE; and Faith, Hope and Charity - has been performed throughout Europe. His first play written in the French language - Une Mort Dans La Famille - opened at L’Odéon Théâtre de l’Europe in February 2022 and will tour in 2023.
From the Reviews
It’s gripping, amusing, uncomfortable, desperately moving, but not dramatic in the sense of speeches and shouting, accusations and political solutions, heroes and villains. Instead it teems with life at a micro level as it shows people exactly like you and me trying to cope with not enough resources, not enough space, not enough time. What could be more dramatic than that?
Dominic Maxwell, The Times
Zeldin doesn't just push emotional buttons, he dons great big boots and jumps on them from a height; even before the rather extraordinary gesture towards the end, people are weeping. But we should weep. As with Ken Loach's recent film I, Daniel Blake, this feels designed to make you angry. It wants you to look - and then it asks you to act.
Natasha Tripney, The Stage
Zeldin is not alone in drawing attention to the cracks in the welfare system. (…) But Zeldin’s particular achievement is to show people’s capacity for endurance. Tempers may flare and tensions rise, but his play is both about the dignity and the love that survive even in the harshest circumstances.
Michael Billington, The Guardian