Home » London Theatre Reviews » Lovebites by Peter Rutherford and James Millar | Review

Lovebites by Peter Rutherford and James Millar | Review


Australia has given this country many things that we have taken to our heart – Skippy and Kylie to name but two. And now, they have sent us another export to keep us entertained in the shape of Theatretripp Productions who have brought their critically acclaimed show Lovebites to the White Bear Theatre.

Lovebites is a combination musical and revue where the four performers (Charlie Bowyer, Alasdair Melrose, Ariane Sallis and Jessica Tripp) under Musical Director Tim Shaw, tell seven different stories of love and romance. In the first half, the show demonstrates how love can appear, not only when least expected. but in the oddest of places. So there are stories about Facebook, film stars, book clubs, retail, plumbing, a wedding and wishful thinking. Each story is told by its own song – composed in many various styles by Peter Rutherford and James Millar – and sung either as a solo, duo, trio or quartet by the cast. In the second half of the show, we get to revisit each story and see how they have moved on from the initial phase.

Lovebites is an unusual musical as there is little time to become invested in each character and story. On the whole, though it did work pretty well. It helped that the cast were very talented, energetic and also quite personable. They seemed to be enjoying themselves and that enjoyment spilled over to the audience. As you would expect, not all of the stories worked for every member of the audience and there were a couple where I found my interest in the scenario waning a bit. Those that did work really did enthrall me, particularly in the second act where not all of the stories turned out as I expected.

The production is nicely staged. Director Grace Taylor and Choreographer Charlie Burt made good use of the intimate stage space and Verity Johnson’s minimal set. The show definitely works well in the space of a pub theatre, although there were occasions where the piano drowned out the vocals in a couple of songs. However, full credit to the cast who were on stage virtually the whole time and created a wide range of characters with minimal costume changes. This is a very generous show and the writers have ensured that each member of the cast gets their moment in the spotlight as well as performing as part of an ensemble.

Favourite song for me? Well, it’s difficult to pick out just one, as there were so many styles and the lyrics to all of them were really descriptive, plus each song should be looked at in conjunction with its counterpoint in Act II. However, aside from the obvious ‘Plastic Bag’ – which is just hilarious, as is the story around it, there was also the very touching ‘A single Poppy’ which, when paired with ‘Give it to the Breeze’ creates a really poignant story.

Overall, I quite enjoyed Lovebites. The idea behind the show is nice and definitely different and works pretty well. The staging is good and, although a couple of the vocals were not brilliant, the majority of the singing was first-rate and the overall effect is a pleasant and enjoyable evening that shows love, romance and all that goes with it may just be around the corner.

3 Star Review

Review by Terry Eastham

It might be on a mountain face, or strolling through a zoo. It might be on an aeroplane, or in a public loo… Who knows where you’ll be, when love finds you?

Described in the Daily Review as “hilarious and heartbreaking”, Australian musical LOVEBITES explores the universal theme of love. With music and lyrics by Peter Rutherford and James Millar, LOVEBITES debuted at the Seymour Centre in Sydney, 2008 to rave reviews.

Theatretripp Productions is proud to present the UK premiere of this inventive and critically acclaimed song cycle. Directed by Grace Taylor and with musical direction from Tim Shaw, four actors take on a number of roles to tell seven very different stories of the bittersweet experience of falling in and out of love.

Cast: Charlie Bowyer, Alasdair Melrose, Ariane Sallis and Jessica Tripp.

Creative Team
Directed by Grace Taylor
Musical Direction Tim Shaw
Choreographer Charlie Burt


1 thought on “Lovebites by Peter Rutherford and James Millar | Review”

  1. Great show,Halarious and sad love stories hope it goes far, we can’t wait to see it again

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