Image: Leo Han

Warwick at the Fringe: Love on Blue Canvas, 1890

In the final instalment of our Warwick at the Fringe series, meet the team behind Love on Blue Canvas, 1890.

What’s the concept?

Swaying between a 19th century art studio and a 21st century art gallery, the play centres around a certain painting by an unknown artist: the engagement portrait of Lord Alfred Amberley, and his fiancée Jemima. As the past is peeled back layer by layer, modern-day perceptions of the artwork, and the artist behind it, are shattered and rewired, revealing a love story that defies all expectations and conjectures. Love on Blue Canvas, 1890 is an exploration of how a narrative can be changed over time, and how the accepted version of history is not always the right one.

How does the production show off Warwick drama to its best?

There seems to be an assumption that student theatre only generates two sorts of shows: either really edgy and radical and absurd(ist), or presumptuous attempts at the classics. But at Warwick drama, not only do we pull off both ends of the scale very well, we also create a whole range of theatre that is somewhere in between, the fruits of unexpected combinations. And LOBC1890 is one of them. Not only is the production an homage to drawing-room plays and memory plays that have come before it, such as works by Oscar Wilde and Tennessee Williams, but the production also tries to break the mould. Physical theatre, multiple layers of reality, seamless scene changes, are all blended into what at first seems to be a naturalistic play set in Victorian England. The production definitely shows off the sheer range of material Warwick drama can tackle.

Tell us about your cast. What makes them special?

Our cast are some of the nicest, most committed, most talented individuals from Warwick drama. They are an absolute dream to work with. The amount of faith they have in each other and the directions they’ve been given is quite moving to observe in the rehearsal room, and hopefully that will turn into chemistry onstage.

Also, they are all really good looking. That’s always a bonus.

Sum up your show in three words.

Tender. Impassioned. Thought-provoking.

If your show was a Warwick landmark, what would it be?

The field of bluebells in Tocil Wood. It’s romantic and it’s BLUE.

Where are you performing and when?

The Perth Theatre, theSpace on North Bridge, 20–25 August 2018.

Top tip for making the most of/surviving the Fringe?

Come and watch our show… and every other show you can afford to get a ticket for. Seriously, it doesn’t get any better than Fringe. Soak in as much as you can.

Anything else we should know?

Bring some tissue with you: for tears of joy, sadness, and revelation.

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