Love & Money is a theatrical production that examines how love is destroyed by materialism. The original play was written by British writer, Dennis Kelly and premiered at the Royal Exchange, Manchester in 2006.
We attended the Prague premiere of Love & Money yesterday, 4th February 2020, evening. The play is in English, but has been adapted so that it is now set in Prague. It was excellent and I recommend that you try to attend one of the four remaining performances.
Divadlo Na Prádle is a small theatre, just a short walk from Újezd tram stop in the Malá Strana area of Prague.
There is a cool bar/cafe for pre-show drinks and snacks. A large beer was around 40Kč.
The cloakroom is past the point where tickets are examined and so it took a while for everyone to be seated.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers, although had I read this review prior, I would have still enjoyed the play as much – despite causing a time paradox.
The first scene involved an email exchange between David, who hates his job and a French woman, with whom he had a sexual relationship while she was visiting Prague on business. Both are on stage, with the stage light falling on them as they ‘write’ their email.
I was immediately impressed by the quality of the performance, but was a little concerned that the entire play was going to be in this format. It was only this first scene, which reveals that David assisted the suicide, perhaps murdered, his compulsive-shopper wife (Jess).
The play sounds dark, but even this first scene had comedic moments, met with laughs from the audience. It’s certainly worth noting that if you are trying to build a new relationship, it’s not a good idea to confess to the murder of your ex-partner!
The second scene featured the parents of Jess, whose grief at the loss of their daughter manifests as hatred for a man who built his dead wife an expensive memorial in the adjacent plot.
Another intense dark-comedic scene – we then realised that the scenes were set in reverse, but also that we were assured of a great performance from each.
We next see David as a poorly-paid teacher, trying to earn more money by asking, Natalie, his now successful ex, for a job. The actress playing Natalie, plays a bitch really well and appears to relish every minute of it.
I should mention those who re-arrange the set between scenes. Dressed in what appear to be hospital outfits, they put on a small performance of their own – not just moving objects, but (unnecessarily) sweeping and mopping.
In another scene, we saw how the relationship between Jess and David is deteriorating as a result of her shopping addiction.
A surreal scene involved what I think were bank credit workers and Jess. I’m not sure about that scene and would have preferred something with Jess being offered credit that she clearly couldn’t afford by a bank worker.
We see Jess in an asylum, which seems a little extreme for someone with shopping addiction, but perhaps she had previously attempted suicide.
I enjoyed a scene with a sleazy character trying to groom a mostly innocent girl – mostly because she confesses to adding wallpaper paste to the vending machine creamer! However, the only real point of the scene was to show how desperate David had become for money – if the producers wanted to shorten the play, they could remove this scene without any impact.
The play concludes with Jess, describing her love for David and their plans to marry. A very poignant scene considering the history that we just witnessed.
The actors were given a well-deserved standing ovation and three encores. They certainly deserve to have the run extended for more than just four more performances.
Love & Money
Divadlo Na Prádle
Besední 3, Prague 1
12th and 27th February, 11th and 24th March – all performances start at 19.30. Tickets 250 Kč