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Songs Of Love, Heartbreak And Loss

Songs Of Love, Heartbreak And Loss

Anyone who has indulged their devastation at the loss of a “forever” relationship by gazing out of a rainy window, sobbing and reminiscing about the good times with their recently departed sweetheart, while blasting a song of love and loss over the speaker of the day, can relate to the themes that Director, Theatre-Maker, and Festival Programmer, Justin Nott’s latest work, ‘Variations or Exit Music’ presents to it’s audience – especially when it comes to the inclusion of music in the play.

Nott is quick to clarify, “The show is by no means a musical, but it clings to the deep and vital partnership between a person and their favourite songs. Robyn’s Dancing On My Own and how its meaning was transformed across three different relationships, a short Max Richter piece from an unknown film that stretches the mournful beauty of cellos in just 1.5mins, so you repeat and repeat and repeat again.”

“There was also a strange and beautiful motif throughout each of the three breakups I experienced and wrote about in the show: each of these lovely boys gifted me music when they left. A mixtape, a playlist, a song. I still have the mixtape from 10 years ago. Songs hit differently when you’re heartbroken. I love that. It’s the silver-lining of the whole shit-show. I wanted to honour that in the piece.”

Deeply Personal Piece

Nott also talks about the catalyst for writing this deeply personal piece, sharing “Fifteen years ago, I had my first heartbreak and handled it cinematically, which is to say I didn’t handle it well. Seven years later, I felt that same pain return with the ending of my longest relationship yet. This time, however, I was living life as an expat in a foreign country. I was treading familiar war-torn territory, but now with a pen in hand.”

“And so, ‘Variations’ coursed out of me. But what makes my breakups any different to yours? Why hear my story when we’ve all known loss of this kind? Maybe because it’s something we  share.”

‘Variations or Exit Music’ written and directed by Justin Nott and is currently performed by Matthew Connell, Yuchen Wang and Lachlan Martin with Musical Composition by Green Room award winning composer Danni A. Esposito.

‘Variations or Exit Music’ playing La Mama Courthouse in Carlton, VIC from the 15 – 25 September, Livestream on Friday 16 September. Tickets @ www.lamama.com.au

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