To Lonely, with Love explores the act of letter writing and its ability to reveal our deepest
emotions. Jennifer Monk and Lisa Dallinger performed with gusto as they waltzed from one
side of the room to the other, executing intense scenes at the audience’s feet and
maximising use of all the floor space within the cozy theatre. Monk and Dallinger were
exceptional and they flourished in roles both as a man in prison for domestic violence as
well as a typical housewife.
While the show was energetic and tumultuous, it was lightened by interludes with music
from “Please Mr. Postman” and quirky costume transitions. The props were minimal yet
captivating and I never imagined there could be such a large variety of uses for a clothes
frame with a wire screen. The chiaroscuro lighting provided a dark ambiance whose contrast
complemented the storyline as it heightened the importance of the intimacy of letter
writing and emphasized the darkness in the other parts of the incarcerated characters’ lives.
One thing that really stood out to me was that I was given a handwritten letter from one of
the performers during the play. It was labelled “To the Audience Member” and later
revealed a letter from one of the performers who spoke briefly about her pleasant surprise
at receiving a letter from a past audience member wishing her good luck. Receiving a
handwritten letter – the first in years of electronic instant messages – helped me realise
that written letters truly possess a special ability to connect with other people, one that is
unparalleled by any other medium.
To Lonely, with Love was heartfelt and authentic. The storyline, inventive and curious,
played with the allusive intimacy that letter writing can bring to people in isolation. It was
very powerful and I would definitely recommend the show to others. Be prepared for a
bewitching hour to enjoy the witty and creative performance!
For more theatre being screened, check out http://lamama.org