In September 2015, I discovered ‘The Story of Mrs. Lovewright and Purrless her Cat’ by Lore Segal. On the cusp of 30, it seemed to me to be about how we sabotage our deepest longing for connection by demanding that those close to us love us in exactly the way we expect. In the following years, as I read and re-read the book, and discussed it with others, it became clear that Lore Segal had, to paraphrase Carol Ann Duffy, gifted me an onion. Not a red rose or a satin heart. An onion. A moon wrapped in brown paper. Promising light.
The book follows Lovewright, a widow, who realises that there is something missing from her life. She is convinced that a cat is just the thing to fill the void but her preconceived idea of love and what the voiceless creature can offer don’t quite match. And so, they must find a love, (w)right for both.
In summer 2018, Cherry Truluck (Designer) and I ran a series of workshops in primary schools and at Block 67 for local community groups in Folkestone. What was truly remarkable was how this tale had the ability to shed light on a multitude of human conditions. To new parents, it resonated with their experience of learning to live with a new child. To those in the autumn of married life, it often spoke of their initial hopes of life together and the imperfect compromises struck along the way. To children it seems to be a tale that discusses how love and happiness are crafted and cannot be forced.
A visual show seems the perfect vehicle for a story that speaks so profoundly to different audiences in different ways. Through storytelling, circus, music and puppetry we hope to create a show that provides our audience with an opportunity to reflect on their own experiences and discover, alongside Mrs. Lovewright, that every true love writes its own rules of rightness.
Blog by Barra Collins, Artistic Director of LAStheatre. Images by Bartle Halpin Photography.
This project is supported by: