I Want Love (Part I)

Birmingham Rep Door


Hannah Ringham is an actor from London and the co-founder of theatre company Shunt and  I Want Love (Part I) is her self-written and performed biographical piece about love and freedom.

It is the first as part of a trilogy and sets a strong foundation to who she is and the importance of her story.

Ringham is a straight-talking lady who is not afraid to state her opinion in the clearest of details. Within her monologue we are welcomed to her thoughts about the sharp taste of overcoming a relationship and discovering how to handle a new found freedom, regardless of whether it is wanted or not.

Within each sequence she goes straight to the heart of the matter and this is what gives her story the hard hitting punch to remind the audience of the negatives of love. She is not afraid to tell us about her experiences, such as the wrongdoings of her past lover or describing the emotional scars left behind after a break up.

Her set and concept is beautifully simple and it is her well thought out script and of course a fantastic performance that carries the piece. Her costume is a striking red dress and she uses only a single chair within the performance space.

The reception is frighteningly intimate in that Ringham is unafraid to tell us exactly how she feels. Perhaps we are so used to hidden feelings that when she decides to tell us point blank about her sorrows of love, we are all the more empathetic.

The powerful, yet short show delivers a journey of losing love. Throughout the performance, Ringham comes to terms with the past and uses her piece as a thought process as to how and why her past relationship failed.

She is also very funny, although slightly understated. Her comedy style as a performer and one-liners are witty and unexpected as she picks the times of humour at very interesting points within her piece, where it feels as if we should not be laughing at all.

Her overall performance seems like a casual conversation, creating an intimate exchange between actor and audience. She explains at the very beginning the devastating story straight away. As the performance goes on, with an edgy script and unbelievable delivery, she slowly shares her wants for the future and how she has handled the situation so far.

Ringham integrates poetry and the spoken word into her piece with great effect. Her passions of love and ponderous thinking overcome her, until we see and hear moments of beautiful poetic metaphors. Her delivery is different as to when she delivers the main plot of the story, as if she is overtaken by a higher force.

Her skill for writing is lovely to hear within these fascinating moments and they are highlighted by coloured spotlights, giving the spoken word sequences a clear and defining place within the production.

It was a shame that audience numbers were sparse, as she is a performer who deserves to be listened to. Her explosive writing is exceptionally well delivered through her wonderful on stage technicalities, delivering lines in a well thought out manner. She makes every word important, making her story and her views about love all the more emphatic.

Ringham is an amazing performer and theatre maker. Her performance style can be watched all night and her unique talent for story telling is a treat to behold. She teaches us what it is like to invest fully, only to lose everything, but not through our own fault. She is passionate and holds the stage with a brilliant air. To 10-05-17

Elizabeth Halpin


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