“What’s love but a second-hand emotion,” Tina Turner belted out on her way to the top of the charts in 1984.
It’s a question a troupe of former WAAPA students explore in their collaborative play What’s Love Got To Do With It, currently playing at the Blue Room in Northbridge.
There’s a dark vein in the satirical look at love and loss, director Rachael Woodward says: “Does it benefit us? But then you look at what a world without love would be like.
“It’s a terrifying double-sided coin.”
The cast of six (Zoe Hollyoak, Tristan Balz, Phoebe Sullivan, Mariah O’Dea, Tristan McInnes and Jacinta Larcombe) take the audience inside a pharmaceutical company boardroom where the imminent release of a cure for love is being discussed.
In reality there’s plenty of scientists working on anti-love drugs, and it was an article in respected New Scientist magazine that sparked the idea for the play, Woodward says.
“We thought how is that a thing – to want to kill love?”
The article Cure for love: Should we take anti-love drugs, likens the emotion to an addiction.
“Breaking up is hard to do. If drugs could ease the pain, when should we use them?” neuro-ethicist Brain Earp pondered.
But Woodward wondered about what the world would lose if the pain and joy of love were simply anaesthetised; would artists still paint masterpieces, would writers be able to pen classics, would life be worth living?.
“We ask [the audience] to think about their lives,” she says.
Woodward describes What’s Love Got To Do With It is a fast-paced ride, with a cameo appearance by Hollywood romance icon Meg Ryan — or at least someone who looks like her.
“You end up laughing and then wondering what you’re laughing about.”
The 20-year-old has yet to have her heart broken, which piqued her curiosity: “That’s one of the reasons [for the play].”
During research she found plenty of “horror” stories about falling in love amongst the joy: ”Love is such a complex thing.”
What’s Love Got To Do With It is on at the Blue Room Theatre, James Street, Northbridge until June 25. Tix $18 at blueroom.org.au
by JENNY D’ANGER