1967. Kenneth and Sandra meet, and it’s a whole new world. A fiery relationship is sparked in the haze of the 60s, and charred by today’s brutal realities. From passion to paranoia, Love, Love, Love takes on the baby boomer generation as it retires, and finds it full of trouble. Victoria Hamilton and Ben Miles as Kenneth and Sandra, morph from care free teenagers into modern day adults about to retire on generous pensions, conveniently missing by a thread the financial crisis that has befallen their children. Director James Grieve brings to life Mike Bartlett’s tale of a generation that had it all and wasted it away. Love, Love, Love is now playing at the Royal Court from 27 April to 9 June 2012.

Michael Coveney
WhatsOnStage
★★★★★

Mike Bartlett’s Love, Love, Love is one of the most ambitious and most accomplished domestic dramas in a long while and in James Grieve’s fine production boasts two performances by Victoria Hamilton and Ben Miles that will surely feature at the year’s end in all the awards lists… Bartlett reveals a fine talent for the Shavian rant, having earned the right with a strong theatrical set-up. While Sandra and Kenneth may sound a little like characters evoking the sixties rather than living them, the shift in social tectonic plates is brilliantly done… Hamilton gives a ravishing display of huskily-voiced self-centredness… Bartlett’s play … is an act of revenge by one generation on another. As such, it’s a classic Court play with an authentic noise of anger and resentment. It’s also very funny, brilliantly designed by Lucy Osborne, and cheeringly given the full main-stage treatment that should ensure the sort of maximum cultural impact once the province of John Osborne and, more recently, David Hare and Jez Butterworth.”

Henry Hitchings
Evening Standard
★★★★

“Piercingly funny and illuminated by some beautifully nuanced performances - notably from Victoria Hamilton… The plotting edges towards the schematic and sometimes context is strangely absent … Yet the writing is observant and James Grieve’s production, though it sags at a couple of points, mainly has a lucid intensity. It is the superb Hamilton and Miles, who over the course of nearly three hours have to portray both teenagers and characters in their sixties, who make the most telling impression. Hamilton appears especially to relish the blithe awfulness of Sandra. But plaudits also go to Bartlett, who leaves us thinking that love, despite its rewards, definitely isn’t all you need.”

Quentin Letts
Daily Mail
★★★★★

“This play seltzer-fizzes with indignation (and bad language) but is laced with enough humour and dramatic verve that by the end of the last preview the audience was roaring its approval … Throughout, the acting is top notch, the pace of James Grieve’s direction just right. The one tin-ear moment is when Mr Bartlett has Rosie bawl at her parents that their generation voted for Thatcher, Blair and Cameron … Otherwise, this is an exciting evening, dart-sharp, horribly true. ‘Love, love, love,’ sing The Beatles, as the babyboomer adults (who never grew up) embark on another episode of self-absorption, leaving the next generation once again to clear up the mess.”

Caroline McGinn
Time Out
★★★★

“Bartlett is a big talent and, although this play's arguments seem less fresh than they did two years ago, it still sparkles in James Grieve's stylish, sexy production. Victoria Hamilton is its star … She and Ben Miles's Ken are a suburban Taylor and Burton - Bartlett exaggerates the damage they do to their children. But it's no good. Rosie's critique of her parents sounds didactic and dull despite its essential truth. Ken and Sandra's love hurts everyone around them but it heats up the stage. In the final scene you're still rooting for the appalling duo as they float away from the demands of their kidults - whose misfortunes they cannot, after all, be wholly blamed for - on a cloud of nostalgia and boozecruise wine, into their extended personal sunset.”

Michael Billington
Guardian
★★★★

“Rivetingly watchable … As a survivor of the 60s, I think Bartlett is unfair to a decade that saw Britain become a better, more tolerant place ... But he offers a wholly persuasive portrait of a couple who typify some of the less attractive aspects of the period, including its naivety and narcissism. James Grieve's production also boasts a peach of a performance from Victoria Hamilton, who moves brilliantly from the floaty sylph of the 60s to the fitness-conscious female of the present while suggesting they remain the same person. Ben Miles makes a similarly convincing journey from student scrounger to rural retiree without losing his self-absorption. Claire Foy as the couple's accusatory daughter, George Rainsford as their reclusive son and Sam Troughton as Kenneth's strait-laced brother are also first-rate in a play in which Bartlett exhilaratingly combines the domestic and the epic.”

Charles Spencer
Telegraph
★★★★

“Wow, this one packs a punch. In a theatre famous for encouraging angry young men, Mike Bartlett, a writer in his early thirties, lands some knock-out blows on the complacency and selfishness of the have-it-all baby- boomer generation. First seen on tour in 2010, and now revived by the Court in a thrilling high voltage co-production with Paines Plough, this is a play that has you laughing uproariously at one moment and wincing painfully the next. Compared with Bartlett’s big, baggy state of the nation dramas at the NT, this is a chamber piece, with just five characters. But it strikes me as Bartlett’s best work to date, with deeper characterisation, more personal themes, and scenes of extraordinary intensity and emotional truth shot through with dark humour... Victoria Hamilton brilliantly manages to be both beguiling and vile as the hard-drinking, crassly insensitive Sandra, and there is equally fine work from Ben Miles as her husband, who seems superficially nicer but is actually equally selfish and complacent. There are also haunting, heart-wrenching performances from Claire Foy and George Rainsford as their damaged children, and one leaves the theatre in no doubt that the Court has another timely, hard-hitting success on its hands.  "