Amy chats to Gintare Parulyte the writer and director of Lovefool which is on at Edinburgh Fringe this year!
Hey – here’s your chance to give an elevator pitch, can you give us a brief synopsis?
“Lovefool” is a hilarious and heartbreaking one-woman play about Grace, a young woman who is hungry for love, affection, reassurance, and validation, and who is looking for all of it in all the wrong places and people. We witness her struggling through her battles to then see her being forced to discover what healthy (self-) love might look like while peeing our knickers from laughter and shedding some tears from the pain we have suppressed.
What inspired the show?
My starting point with all my projects is: “What do I miss seeing on stage or screen?”. In this case, I wanted to touch upon subjects that both me and the women I love have struggled with: love addiction, substance abuse, mental health, sexual assault and the effects of unresolved childhood trauma on our ability to love and receive love as adults. I wanted the show to create a horizontal dynamic between the protagonist and each audience member. I didn’t want any patronizing, moralizing, or hyper-symbolism. Instead, I wanted the audience to feel intimacy, relatability, and inclusion and leave the theatre with a sense that they are fewer strangers between them than when they entered the theatre.
How important is the Fringe for new work? And how does it feel to be at the Fringe this year?
This show has made me experience many firsts: The show sold out right after its opening night at The National Theatre of Luxembourg, it became an instant sensation and received imminent critical acclaim, moving reviews and incredible contact and connection with the audience. We had a successful and extremely touching UK Premiere at the magical Coronet Theatre in London and are now travelling the world with it. It’s crazy to see what can happen with a show you wrote in your pyjamas at home in four days. I have never been to the Edinburgh Fringe, so being selected and being able to show the piece at the incredible Summerhall Theatre is an absolute dream come true! It’s an honour to be able to show my work among artists I have admired for a long time and I can’t wait to immerse myself in this theatrical marathon and meet people from all walks of life.
What are the main themes within the production, and what can audiences expect?
I tried to squeeze in quite a series of themes in a play that is only 55 minutes long. We talk about love, dating, sex, ambitions, expectations of gender roles, emotionally absent fathers, co-dependent mothers, addictions ranging from love to drugs, patriarchy and love addiction as they are represented in cultural artefacts like music and books, and what it might be to be a woman today. I feel like we managed to achieve this magical sweet spot where we don’t marinate in darkness and heaviness, and although we explore painful subjects, the audience always leaves moved and uplifted. As such, the audience can expect to be taken on an emotional ride and hopefully, the play will make them not talk about the weather and the likes with the people they came with and spark uncomfortable, but necessary conversations.
Finally, with so many shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, why should people book a ticket to this show?
I have been going to the theatre since I was vertical and I have never experienced such togetherness before. It’s strange to talk about your own play like that, but I feel like that’s what has made this show so successful and meaningful to people. Many critics have used the term “theatre therapy” to describe the play, and I feel like it’s a very accurate description. People who like directness, vulnerability, unapologetic honesty and wit will leave the show a bit more healed, which is what I hoped to achieve from the get-go.
LoveFool is on at Summerhall from 2nd – 27th August at 7.15pm – info here!