Ioana Goga's contemporary writing style is presenting itself in her current entertaining play, Love (to) Bits. With herself starring as the lead character, Cynthia, the narrative follows her turbulent romances, and how they shape her over time. Creatively using several different forms of exhibition, the piece transitions between a collection of verbatim characters who each speak of their definitions of love, intertwined with direct monologues to the audience from Cynthia, as well as a plot featuring her intermittent boyfriend- Van, played well by Tómas Howser.
While the transitions are sometimes slow which loses fluidity, they are often done with humour, and this constant movement breaks up the show into small sections to keep the audience seeking the next part. With only four hours of rehearsal, understudy, Nadia Murgia has taken on the supporting role, and with admirable skill, you would never know that she was not a principle performer. Her expressions fit brilliantly with the awkwardness or comedy of the situation at hand, and vibrancy works well in conjunction with Ioana's character and writing itself.
Playing Cynthia, Ioana gives an energetic and passionate delivery; engaging the audience with her story. From a child through to adulthood, her lack of luck with relationships reflects in self-discovery, as an outlook of self-love becomes the overruling message from the piece. Featuring some genuinely funny elements of script, it often speaks to the audience in relatable tones, with regards to the modern woes of dating. The low budget of the production works entirely in its favour by building on these, and expressing storytelling in alternative ways. However, there is a particularly impressive range of costumes to bring to life the verbatim characters.
Overall, Love (to) Bits is a great little fringe show. Being just that, it's clear that it isn't a major production, but this, on the most part, doesn't detract from its successes.