Known as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most mesmerising score, Aspects of Love is given a new lease of life in the Hope Mill Theatre’s beautifully poignant production.
Set in France, the story delves into the romantic lives of five people across three decades. We follow the story of young soldier Alex as he tackles the entanglement of love after falling for actress Rose Vibert. The multitude of emotions involved in all the different ‘aspects’ of love is captured through a sublime score.
Originally created in the West End starring Michael Ball, the Hope Mill Theatre have done what they do best and completely stripped it back to create a production that feels incredibly real. Aspects of Love is the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that never quite got its recognition, but Jonathan O’Boyle’s production at the Hope Mill Theatre puts it on the theatrical map. The intimacy of the space enhances the authenticity of the narrative and the emotions surrounding the characters on stage.
The talent in this production is phenomenal, their rich vocals filling the space to create a spine-tingling ensemble of voices. We really go through these character’s journeys and feel the emotions they encounter through their lives. The convincing performances from the cast feel so genuine, it’s a real human story that makes it entirely relatable. Despite it being a dated musical, the potency of the emotions is bursting with vitality making it feel totally fresh.
Gareth Bretherton’s musical direction of the lavish score is flawless. Creating such a powerful yet tender sound with just two pianos and percussion. The layers of his orchestration are extraordinary, which accompanied by the exceptional vocals of the cast create a sound that guarantees goosebumps throughout.
Felix Mosse is so delicate in his portrayal of Alex, his subtle charm is completely captivating creating a real warmth in the role. Connecting with the audience, he doesn’t give it all away at first, allowing the character to really develop. Opening the show with the iconic Love Changes Everything, his voice is encapsulating as he performs with remarkable expression.
Kelly Price is faultless in the complex role of Rose Vibert. Not only does she master the characterisation of the coy and graceful actress, but her vocals are sensational. Note-perfect, her voice is charged with emotion as she provides an utterly breath-taking performance. Opposite her, Jerome Pradon plays Alex’s uncle George who falls in love with Rose. However, it’s his relationship with their daughter Jenny that is the most beautiful to watch. Jerome’s vocals are superb but his acting is first-rate as we watch him desperately cling on to his daughter as he watches her grow up.
Eleanor Walsh shines in her debut performance as young Jenny, Rose’s daughter who falls head-over-heels for Alex. She encapsulates both the childish naivety and the multitude of emotions of the role as she grows up and develops her obsessive love.
Kimberly Blake’s natural stage presence makes her the perfect fit for George’s beguiling lover Giulietta. Her stellar vocals are spellbinding, particularly when she leads the vibrant number Hand Me The Wine and The Dice which is bursting with seductive sass.
Aspects of Love is a challenging and ambitious production for the Hope Mill Theatre, but like everything, they manage to pull it off and produce a phenomenal piece of musical theatre. The complexities of love and all its different forms are portrayed passionately in this intensely affecting production.
Aspects Of Love is on at the Hope Mill Theatre until the 9th of August, tickets and information can be found online here.
Photo credit – Anthony Robling