All My Love

We make important choices with our lives, and they may occur on a grey and nondescript day. At the time we don’t realise they how important these choices are and the impact they will have on our lives. Mary Gilmore and Henry Lawson made various choices in their lives, choices that placed their lifelong platonic love affair in jeopardy.

ALL MY LOVE is the story of the nascent relationship between Mary Gilmore and Henry Lawson and is based on the letters they wrote to each other before and after their marriages to William Gilmore and Bertha McNamara.

Mary (Kim Denman) and Henry (Dion Mills) were both writers and their letters contain poignant and heartfelt prose. The text from these letters form some of the rich dialogue of the play and take the audience deep inside their thoughts and feelings.

We are also treated to some of their poetry, often dealing with their egalitarian ideals but also with love and relationships. As the play unfolds and we learn more about their complicated lives,  the significance of these poems is given even greater resonance.

The interplay and dialogue between the two characters is fascinating. From their letters and poems we often know how Mary and Henry are feeling and what they are thinking but due to the nature of their characters, the social and financial constraints of the time and the influence of external characters it is often a tale of frustration and lost opportunity. One of the most imposing of these external characters is Henry’s malevolent mother, Louisa. Her actions have a profound impact on the lives of the young lovers.

Anne Brooksbank’s beautifully written play informs the audience about the relationship of these iconic figures of Australian literature. Director Denny Lawrence has drawn together the dialogue, characters and excellent lighting in a fine piece of theatre.

ALL MY LOVE is playing at the Glen Street Theatre, Belrose until 6th March.