As someone who has recently been thinking quite a lot about different scenarios for the future; with one’s thoughts often leading to starting a family, I couldn’t wait to see No Love Songs. Believing as it’s a musical, it was sure to bring in some warmth and reassurance to this extremely difficult decision many women are faced with. I went in with an open mind and the curiosity of a child about to be introduced to a completely unfamiliar world.

Well, not completely unfamiliar. While I couldn’t directly relate to the story based on the real-life experience of Laura Wilde and Kyle Falconer, a story turned into a book written by Laura and Johnny McKnight, there was one person on my mind through the entire performance. 

It’s always the mother. 

No Love Songs spends a short moment showing us Jessie and Lanna meeting for the very first time and falling in love before moving into the future. This happens in a flash, which is often the same in real life, when we’re young and in love one second and having a baby the very next. The scene of Lanna giving birth is by far the best depiction of childbirth I have seen in theatre or film. The humour is top-notch throughout the show and helps take the tension off the heavy topic of postnatal depression.

As does the music. Heartfelt songs break the spell of reality when we’re faced with Lanna’s experience of trying to handle being a young mother while her partner is away making much-needed money. Flashes of my own childhood made me relate to and feel for Lanna. And yet, for me, my own blurred memories felt much more real and strong during the moments when the show broke for, yet another, beautiful and warm song, almost as if it was too afraid to stare into the uncomfortable truth of this situation, and it made my own memories feel redundant. 

While this is an extremely hard topic to portray and something everyone should see, it was almost too easy to watch, not delivering on its promise of showing an uncomfortable truth, avoiding the ugliness that should be there, but was instead masked by music and a cheesy ending. Though, of course, I did call my mum straight after the show.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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