Review: No Love Songs

Hopeful, empowering and realistic tale of modern romance

musicals review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
33892 large
No Love Songs
Photo by Raymond Davies
Published 06 Aug 2023

This piece of musical gig theatre with songs composed by Kyle Falconer, singer with Dundonian rockers The View, goes to dark places pretty quickly. It begins with a party, as Lana (Dawn Sievewright) and Jessie (John McLarnon) get together on a night out in a Dundee gay bar, but soon after this she becomes unexpectedly pregnant.

Soon after again, Jessie is called away to tour with his band in America and post-natal depression is setting in for the isolated Lana. The names have been changed to allow for dramatic licence, but the story is based on that of Falconer and his wife Laura Wilde – co-author with Johnny McKnight of the book here – and her own experience of post-natal depression after the birth of their own children.

Sievewright and McLarnon give their characters a warm, relatable nature, although the pair are undoubtedly very good singers, who effectively carry both the rockier melodies of key track 'Stressball' (the songs are adapted from Falconer’s 2021 solo album No Love Songs for Laura) and the sparse, slowed-down reworkings as Lana considers the worst.

Co-directors Andrew Panton and Tashi Gore hit every note perfectly, wrapping an evocative – and informative, for those who have never been there – depiction of PND’s despair within a hopeful, empowering and realistic tale of modern romance. Expect to see it back on stages again and again.