Lovesong at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 15:50 21 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:50 21 June 2017

Lovesong at the Abbey Theatre, which opens on June 30

Lovesong at the Abbey Theatre, which opens on June 30

Abbey Theatre

The highs and lows of a 40-year marriage are put under the spotlight in a play opening at a St Albans theatre next week.

Lovesong at the Abbey Theatre, which opens on June 30Lovesong at the Abbey Theatre, which opens on June 30

Lovesong can be seen in the Abbey Theatre Studio from Friday, June 30.

By award-winning playwright Abi Morgan, Lovesong examines the universal themes of love, long-term relationships and growing old together, by taking us inside the lifelong partnership between Maggie and Billy.

The couple met in the Swinging Sixties, fell in love and married.

They emigrated to America and Billy set up a dental practice.

Their dreams of a life together were challenged along the way, like in any marriage, but they have been happy.

However, one of them is now ill and decisions have to be made.

Following the ups and downs of their relationship across four decades, the action in Lovesong is split between the younger and older Billy and Maggie.

Over the years they have to take several leaps into the unknown, trusting implicitly that each has the other’s best interests at heart.

Morgan’s text weaves between the honeymoon period of early bliss, to the older, settled relationship of a couple who have been together for 40 years.

The stories cleverly twist together so at times the younger and older versions meet in memory and recollections.

Lovesong is a piece of theatre about the endurance of partnerships and the gradual decline of the human body, but it is never sentimental or maudlin.

Its message to an audience of any age is to enjoy life to its fullest, accept love when it comes, and understand that in relationships, nothing is given. There is everything to play for, right to the end.

When director Sinead Dunne first read the play, she felt rather like a voyeur.

“No one truly understands a partnership apart from the two people who are in it.

“It’s extremely hard to be inside someone else’s relationship, and yet this is where Abi Morgan places us, inside their marriage.

“Not as observers, but with them, in it, so at first I felt I should not be there, intruding.

“But then I found I was experiencing their relationship through the most challenging, the most loving, and the most beautifully ordinary of ways.

“We hope our audiences will feel this too.”

Performances take place from Friday, June 30 to Saturday, July 1 at 8pm, Sunday, July 2 at 2.30pm, and from Tuesday, July 4 to Saturday, July 8 at 8pm.

• To book tickets, go to www.abbeytheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01727 857861.

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