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Library of Love

Nerida Dickinson

Sweet romance that combines love of song, dance, adventure and books.
Library of Love

Library of Love photograph via Cottesloe Films.

From the team that created the award-winning Tango Underpants, Library of Love is a local adventure with big dreams.

Isabelle works in a library, and loves the romantic dreams in the pages of the love stories, getting carried away to other times and places. Chided by the stern head librarian, Margarita, and derided by her colleagues for her lack of frivolity, she clings to the vivid worlds in the pages of her books. When difficult patron 'The Duke' arrives, with his requests for rare and wonderful books, he calls her to action – the books are the inspiration, not the destination – in between his own bouts of travel and adventure. Isabelle heeds the calls, and resolves to change her ways and follow new roads, only to find that she will be sharing that road with some sympathetic eye candy in Duke’s strapping son.

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The song and dance routines are cheerful, toe tapping fun, with an incorrigible older library patron drawing the laughs with her robust, earthy punchlines. Claudia Alessi’s library choreography is a delight for book nerds and musical theatre buffs alike, using shelving motifs to frame the mocking faces. The suspension of disbelief is necessarily strong (who wrangles a grand piano in front of the borrowing desk?), but the gentle whimsy of the piece inspires good natured acquiescence.

Trilby Glover as Isabelle is a delight as the heroine, immersed in her determination to take on life’s challenges. Working in tight ensemble, Ian Brennan, Jess Phillippi and Taryn Ryan as fellow library staffers are perfectly cued for all song and dance points, as well as chiming in with spoken commentary. Alinta Carroll as head librarian brings some classic pursed lip disapproval, and Elwyn Edwards brings relish to his portrayal of parkour and travel enthusiast retiree, The Duke. Ben Mortley brings the full force of his charm to his roles as fantasy lover and real life dreamboat and travel companion to Isabelle.

Directors Miranda Edmonds and Khrob Edmonds have co-ordinated a strong team of creatives and technical crew to create a sweet short film with a clear storyline, clever lyrics and crisp choreography. Musical team Oscar Gross and Guy Gross keep proceedings literally upbeat, showcasing the considerable singing talents of all cast members. Choreographer Alessi uses the trained performers of all ages, as well as the logistics of a group scene in the obstructed sightlines working in the set of a genuine library.

Promoting great things from the local film industry, Screenwest has assisted the cast and crew to develop their talents, confidence and craft in this production from company and company.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars out of 5

Library of Love
A short film
Cottesloe Films and Buzz Productions presents
Directed by Miranda Edmonds and Khrob Edmonds
Cinematographer: Jim Frater ACS
Composers: Oscar Gross and Guy Gross
Choreographer: Claudia Alessi
Sound Designer: Ric Curtin
Production Designer: Emma Fletcher
Producers: Estelle Buzzard, Maya Kavanagh and Meg McPherson
Cast: Trilby Glover (Isabelle), Alinta Carroll (Margarita), Elwyn Edwards (The Duke), Ian Brennan (Casey), Jess Phillippi (Macy), Taryn Ryan (Tracy), Ben Mortley (Will Dukesford)

Western Australian premiere: 27 June 2017
John Inverarity Music and Drama Centre, Hale School, Perth

What the stars mean?
  • Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
  • Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
  • Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
  • Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
  • Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
  • Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
  • Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
  • One star: Awful, to be avoided
  • Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level

About the author

Nerida Dickinson is a writer with an interest in the arts. Previously based in Melbourne and Manchester, she is observing the growth of Perth's arts sector with interest.

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