Those Who Fall in Love Like Anchors Dropped Upon the Ocean Floor

3 out of 5 stars
Those Who Fall in Love Like Anchors Dropped Upon the Ocean Floor 2016 Griffin Independent production photo from Perth credit Michael Patrick Timmins
Photograph: Michael Patrick Timmins L-R: Jo Morris, Ben Mortley and Renee Newman

This continent and time-hopping collection of love stories arrives at Griffin after a successful season at Perth Fringe

This popular Perth Fringe production brings to life a new work by prolific and award-winning Tasmanian theatre-for-young-adults writer Finegan Kruckemeyer.

Venturing into less obviously TYA territory, Kruckemeyer offers up a peripatatic tale of love across continents, taking in an incipient love affair aboard a Russian submarine, an unrequited-love triangle in Sydney, a meet-cute in the streets of Paris, and young love in the Appalachian winter. 

All the stories are about the blossoming of love, and the beginning of a relationship – or an attempted relationship. The cute premise in each 'universe' is that love is so powerful that it can bend time. We see sections of each love story replay with different outcomes, and we see more complex permutations of time manipulation – guided through the latter by our host: a French watchmaker (Ben Mortley) who has fallen in love with a woman (Renee Newman) crossing the road.

The show is consistently charming, often funny, and sometimes moving: a failed seduction scene involving a young woman and her co-worker feels like a punch in the heart. 

It's also great to see two of four stories dealing with women loving women – something that's still rare on stage.

This production, helmed by Adam Mitchell and produced by Jo Morris and Renee Newman (who both act in the show), is tight after two previous outings in Perth. But Kruckemeyer's narrative conceit wears thin after the first few times around the carousel. At a certain point, you wish you could stop and engage with one set of characters, rather than constantly flipping from story to story. 

It's an issue with intersecting narratives that certain characters and stories suffer – if not all – from the audience not having enough time to engage with and invest in them. Here, the definite weak link is the Appalachian story, which never takes off and becomes tiresome. In contrast, the unrequited love triangle is engrossing, and deserves more time to breathe. 

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