No Love Songs - Photo Call, 30.07.23

The Guardian 6 August 2023

There is a tremendous amount of heart in this musical two-hander about the stresses of early parenthood. It is inspired by the experience of co-writer Laura Wilde and her partner Kyle Falconer, best known as singer of the View. His second solo album, No Love Songs for Laura, from 2021, provides the material for a gig-theatre chamber piece about a couple torn apart by career ambitions and postnatal depression.

The script, co-written with Johnny McKnight, is a miniature soap opera in which the needs of Lana (Dawn Sievewright), isolated and insecure as the mother of a baby boy, come into conflict with the opportunities presented to Jessie (John McLarnon), a songwriter who gets a break in America just when he is needed most at home. Many of the details of childbirth and parenthood are familiar, and there is a generic quality to the early boy-meets-girl scenes, but it is written with knowledge and compassion, and rises in intensity as Lana is overwhelmed by her mental illness. [READ MORE]

By Mark Fisher

MARK FISHER is a freelance theatre critic and feature writer based in Edinburgh and has written about theatre in Scotland since the late-1980s. He is a theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List magazine and a frequent contributor to the Scotsman and other publications. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995), and the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012) and How to Write About Theatre (2015) – all Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is also the editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls and What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book (both Mark Fisher Ltd).