THE idea for Blue Love, a show which looks amusingly at romantic relationships, came to Shaun Parker when he and fellow Australian dancer, Jo Stone, were singing along with the performers in a karaoke bar in Vienna.
“I loved the fact that so many pop songs were about love, and that some of the lyrics were so bad they were good,” Parker said.
“Everybody can relate to these lyrics. Everyone’s heart has been broken at some stage in their lives.”
So when he and Stone returned to Australia they put together a short dance film showing a couple’s reactions to each other.
The film was shown around the world, and its popularity led to two more films.
And those, in turn, were followed by Blue Love, an hour-long stage work that shows the changing relationships between a couple, from the time of their first romantic encounter to the problems they face together in their 40s.
The show, first staged in Adelaide in 2005, has won acclaim on global tours, and is now touring Australian regional areas, with performances at Newcastle’s Civic Theatre on October 21 and 22.
Parker and Stone are back together on stage in this production, which offers a lively mix of dance, song, music, comedy and film.
The work shows the couple, Glenn and Rhonda Flune, meeting and falling in love, going through marriage, careers, children and affairs with others, the breakdown of their relationship, and the way they handle all that.
And, given what inspired the show, the many popular songs, including Stop in the Name of Love, I Will Survive, You Sexy Thing, and Love is a Battlefield, are often used amusingly.
The show ends with a witty spoken medley of snatches of pop songs that were hits for artists including Kiss, Lennon and McCartney, and Carly Simon, and which sum up the couple’s feelings.
Projected film clips show incidents from the pair’s relationship, among them a synchronised swimming sequence in which the person in the pool is nonchalantly smoking a cigarette.
And there is a nudity scene which has audience members gasping before laughing.
Parker established his own company in 2010, and now concentrates on choreography and direction.
But he has enjoyed Blue Love so much that he keeps appearing in it.
Audience members likewise find it fun.
A young man so enjoyed the show in Brisbane that he brought his girlfriend to the season’s last night and proposed to her onstage after the show, with his proposal accepted.