Love and War - either end of a relationship

“I sometimes don’t know whether I want to punch you or kiss you.”


David Persiva aa Him and Naoimh Morgan as Her (Photo: White Bear Theatre)

David Persiva stars in his own play about a love affair.  The first scene is bitter as it is the last night in the relationship as they decide to split.  The words and the body language are searing as the woman (Naoimh Morgan) complains about the man she is sharing her life with.  This is the end of an affair, shredding all the attraction and interest that started their relationship. 

She is complaining about the small things which should be unimportant: his failure to buy loo paper, instead using kitchen roll.  Hearing her antagonistic language is deeply shaming because I know I have been guilty of it, complaining to the person I love and am living with about things that really do not and should not matter.

Adding to the conflict is her anger at his apparent lack of activity and work while she goes out to work.  I have been there too.  He is a writer or a poet and it is the kind of work that doesn’t always come easily.  In the middle of this first scene he seems hard done by with her carping and niggling language. 

But then he lets rip! He complains there was no milk in the fridge for his breakfast.  Of course the milk and the loo roll are not the cracks in the relationship.  Their lack are the tools with which to attack each other. Now he starts being unreasonable, attributing blame unfairly.  Why doesn’t he take responsibility for the lack of these household essentials?

In this backwards and forwards play, we switch to the first scene of their relationship when they have just met with all the excitement of new enthusiasm and interest in a stranger.  The play moves away from the pain to the pleasure except that we will now have this sense of foreboding as we know it is going to end badly.  The spoilers are in the play itself right at the beginning.

Why is it that the end of love brings anger and recrimination to the fore?  David Persiva’s writing has captured these moments of pain and blame replacing those of anticipation of the new. 

They talk about sex too.  The frequency of sex has dropped off for them and her talking about a threesome she once had serves to aggravate him. It is about her reluctance to be more sexually experimental with him.  The author has analysed two elements going wrong in this partnership of love: communication about their needs and about sex. 

She is vegan; he doesn’t understand why he can’t buy honey and she explains the exploitation of bees. Presumably the milk was oat, soya or almond! The play plunges into darkness for a scene where the audience is left to imagine with only the words as a guide.

It is set in the sitting room of their flat, a detailed living space with full book shelves and a sofa.  The playing space at the White Bear has an intimacy perfect for us getting to know this couple who are no longer a couple.  Directed by David Frias-Roble, the performances are so real, there is no moment of disbelief, just involvement and reflection as to how we shape up by comparison.

I heartily recommend the White Bear Theatre for its imaginative programming. 

Production Notes

Written by David Persiva

Directed by David Frias-Roble



David Persiva

Naoimh Morgan


Director: David Frias-Roble

Set Designer:  Maeve Reading

Lighting Designer: Joe Underwood

Sound Designer: Ben Pavely 

Presented by  Gianna Kiehl  

A Pathway Theatre Production



Running Time: 70 minutes without an interval

Booking to 3rd September 2022 


The White Bear Theatre

The White Bear Pub

138 Kennington Park Road


London SE11 4DJ


Tube: Kennington

Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge

at the White Bear

on 25th August 2022