REPLY TO PO BOX
A world of love, loss and longing in a vibrant experiential live performance
With more people than ever using dating sites to find a partner, we wanted to explore how advertising for love has developed since the first lonely heart advert was placed in the Matrimonial Gazette in the 1700s. From a defiant soul in 1787 seeking a man that “must never drink above two bottles of claret, or one of port, at a sitting” to our current day love seeker who “WLTW man with GSOH”. We discovered that the reasons people advertise for love remain pretty much the same 300+ years later; relocating for work, long work hours and a lack of community within which to meet a partner.
Set in a former 18th Century nursing home turned Battersea Mess and Music Hall, Reply to PO Box 49 is an experiential adventure. It has been created by a team of over 50 creatives including writers, directors, producers, designers, filmmakers, actors and singers. The audience will be left to discover stories hidden in the depths of this expansive space; from three 19th Century sisters desperate to find a man for financial security, to a 1980’s dating agency promising to find you never ending love. Led and coerced through the series of scenes by elusive guides and cross-century characters, Reply to PO Box 49 aims to leave the audience moved, amused, shocked and intrigued.
PRESENTED by Michelle McMahon, Sabrina Dridje and Leanne Davis
WRITING by Leanne Davis, Ros Adler, Liz Hobbs, Laura Kenwright and Sam Bevitt
DIRECTION by Olly Hawes, Elgiva Field (workshops) and Michelle McMahon (immersive)
LIGHTING & SOUND by Ed Borgnis
SET & SCENE DESIGN by Joanna Shaw and Stephanie Denington
PRODUCTION STILLS by ©Adam Dale