Love You Approximately

Went with a couple of friends to Love You Approximately at Downstage on opening night on Wednesday.

I loved the premise of the show – a long distance cyber-romance between Imogen in New Zealand and Pere in Spain. And Pere was literally in Spain – the play was conducted over Skype with webcams etc. The actors who played Imogen and Pere have never actually met in real life.

Imogen and Pere’s relationship seemed all too real at time. Poor Pere was the one who had to face rejection by blurting out to his Imogen that he wanted to be more than just friends. And Imogen was indecisive and emotional going through phases of positivity and negativity.

Lara Fischel-Chisholm played Imogen. Shortland Street fans may remember her as Anita (Ben’s sister) Goodall. I thought Fischel-Chisholm did very well portraying Imogen, and bringing to life what was a fairly ordinary script. She made her character very real and believable.

My biggest criticism of the play is it didn’t make a strong emotional connection. You want to either be laughing, or angry, or sad, or suspenseful as a play progresses. At best, the play was interesting. You did want to see how it ended, but there were no real suspense or high drama.

The play was enjoyable. I doubt it would appeal greatly to non Internet natives, but proficient users of webcams and Skype should enjoy the play, and see how much it might mirror real life for them.

It was good to see an innovativeplay that made good use of technology. The two leads even became virtual flatmates for a while – leaving their webcams connected to each other and on 24/7. Quite a neat idea if one didn’t have data charges!