Imagine that there is something wrong with your television that causes it to switch channels every minute. That, in a nutshell, is “Love and Information,” Caryl Churchill’s fast-paced, kaleidoscopic and absolutely infuriating new work.
Not only is it an absolutely pointless, puzzling and pretentious bore, it runs two hours long without an intermission, making the play that much more painful.
Churchill, still considered one of England’s most prominent contemporary playwrights, is best known for her experimental, feminist-tinged works from the Thatcher era, such as “Cloud Nine” and “Top Girls.”
“Love and Information,” which is being produced Off-Broadway with sleek production values, consists of about 60 vignettes, which vary from a few seconds to a few minutes in length, and all feature different characters (more than a hundred in total) in the midst of conversation.
Some are meant to be funny, such as when a teenage boy is informed that his sister is actually his mother, while others involve philosophic musings on math and science. Due to the brevity, all of them are superficial and lacking in conflict.
Taken together, the scenes have no easily discernible theme, although Churchill’s supporters will probably claim it signifies society’s inability to connect due to the bombardment of media. Or something like that.
The stage is framed as a small white cell, with walls that resemble graph paper. Once a scene ends, there is a short blackout accompanied by sound effects, after which the lights pop up again on the box, which now contains different actors and set pieces.
Although you may optimistically try to go along with the experimental concept at first, the play grows more annoying after each repetition.