By Jay Menard
Love is a Battlefield is a perfectly pleasant and perfunctory piece of dramatic theatre. It doesn’t break any new ground, but it features capable performances by both leads. It’s less of a battle and more of a civil, but largely forgettable, disagreement.
The play, written by Martin Dockery and featuring dramaturgy by Vanessa Quesnelle, covers ground that’s been done frequently. It’s the standard femme fatale/oblivious suitor storyline that’s been a part of dramatic arts for decades. It’s a paint-by-numbers plot line with plot twists that are painfully obvious and viewers are able to predict the end well in advance.
So when the storyline is that apparent, then the acting must be superb to carry the play. And both Dockery and Quesnelle put in satisfactory performances. They deliver their lines well and there’s some quality interplay between the two as the plot progresses.
The play starts with a woman,Quesnelle, in an unhappy marriage to a powerful but unpleasant man named Bob — to whom we’re only introduced through allusions and off-stage glances. She is recording a singing demo. The song, of course, is Love is a Battlefield. Dockery plays the producer. After multiple drinks and playful banter, the true nature of their relationship is revealed — again, it comes as no surprise — and the final die is cast.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Love is a Battlefield. It’s a fine piece of theatre. But there’s also nothing that stands out and sets it apart from any of the other similar stories that have been told. Love is less of a battlefield, but more of a gentle, predictable skirmish.
*** — three out of five stars
This review was originally published on theatreinlondon.ca