Aspects of Love ★★★ Lyric Theatre | May 12 - Nov 11, 2023

A newly revised version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love has arrived back in the West End! The story still has implausible moments and the plot about the perils of polyamory remains ragged and a little disturbing, but the performances and staging are breathtaking. Michael Ball dominates the stage whenever he appears, and his rendition of "Love Changes Everything" brings down the house. Laura Pitt-Pulford is simply superb as the vivacious, and apparently voracious, Rose, and Jamie Bogyo is terrific as Alex who follows his heart along the convoluted paths of love. To the part of Giulietta, Danielle De Niese brings a voice that is totally captivating, and she is a delight whenever she appears. Almost upstaging all of them however, is the extraordinary stage design of John Macfarlane. With more than thirty scenes, this is an extremely demanding show, and the sets and use of video is simply brilliant. Macfarlane raises the bar for all future productions in the West End. Nevertheless, all of this remains in aid of a piece of theatre whose themes are questionable and whose structure is unsatisfactory. Some scenes, like that in the fairground, appear to be completely unnecessary while others important to the characters' motivation are underdeveloped. It's not a good sign when the audience at one point titters and at another guffaws at what is intended to be the delivery of a serious line. Despite such drawbacks however, this latest Aspects of Love has some awe inspiring moments and is worth a look in.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Johan Persson.

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