Thursday, August 17, 2017


Shaun Parker and Lucia Mastrantone in "Blue Love"

Directed, Written, Designed and choreographed by Shaun Parker

Presented by Shaun Parker and Company

The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre 16th & 17th August 2017

Reviewed by Bill Stephens 

Defying categorisation, but deliciously subversive and irresistibly entertaining, this cleverly devised work began life as a diversion to fill in time during breaks in the filming of Baz Luhmann’s Moulin Rouge.  At the time Shaun Parker was performing in Moulin Rouge as a tango dancer.  Originally conceived with performer, Jo Stone, Parker’s experiments morphed into award winning dance films, then finally, this stage version, which has been performed widely in Europe and Australia.

Incorporating the films blended with physical theatre, dialogue and dance, Blue Love is a quirky, character based work, which cleverly satirises the pop culture clichés of modern romance and suburbia.

Performed by Parker and Lucia Mastrantone, in the guise of Glenn and Rhonda Flune, two characters who may well have been neighbours of Kath and Kim, Blue Love commences with the audience being plied with beer and popcorn by Glenn and Rhonda, and welcomed them to their trendy lounge room (or as they describe it – love arena) to share the secrets of their “perfect marriage”.

No cliché is left unexplored during this eye-opening sharing. To a very funny narration liberally sprinkled with mispronounced Italian, French and who-knows-what, their guests are treated to home truths, home movies (reviewed by David and Margaret no less), a Norman Lindsay party, the decorum of which is threatened when Rhonda spitefully picks at the artfully placed bunch of grapes protecting Glenn’s modesty, and an hilarious argument using lyrics from well-known 80’s pop songs.

Memorable episodes include clever physical comedy involving an amazing pas de deux in which a seemingly boneless Rhonda is tossed around by Glen, and an eye-watering routine performed while both simultaneously execute push-ups.

Constantly surprising, clever and entertaining, Blue Love may not solve your romantic problems but it will undoubtedly prove the perfect antidote to a dull day in the office.     

Shaun Parker and Lucia Mastrantone in "Blue Love"

                                               Photos by  David McCarthy

This review first published in Australian Arts Review.