Poet Luke Wright has teamed up with director Zara Hayes to create Seven Ages of Love, a thirty minute film that combines documentary and performance poetry to give seven differing perspectives on what ‘love’ means in Britain today. Broadcast on Friday 13th February on Channel 4 the film put NEW poetry into primetime terrestrial schedules.
Aired the night before Valentine’s day, it’s an antidote to the cynical and weary climate we often find ourselves in. Starting with the insights of children aged 8 it weaves its way through love that electrifies, love that morphs, love that betrays, love for better or worse and ends with the heart-warming story of Britain’s oldest newly wed-couple.
Told through verse penned by Wright, each chapter brings a new layer of complexity and nuance to the picture postcard view of love that we believe as children. As we work up through the ages, we see couples in a variety of situations in different enclaves of British life, from the bittersweet to the unashamedly optimistic, who remain convinced about the enduring power of love.
All the poetry in the film is performed by the people themselves, none of whom are trained actors or poets, but who have collaborated closely with the director and poet in making the film and telling their story.
Maggie & Sere: Both 8, best friends who think that love means ‘wanting to be around each other all the time’ and that people get married because they never want to be apart.
Geoff & Josh: a gay couple, aged 16 and 17, who met at college and have been dating for the past two months.
The Dating Scene
Andy, the geezer’s answer to Carrie Bradshaw, has made a career out of writing about his eclectic (and often hilarious) dating experiences. He’s a man about town, a serial dater who is enjoying being young and having it all in the big city.
Yvonne & Reg, a deaf couple who met and just knew they’d found ‘the one’. They perform their poem through sign language, a visually expressive tribute to their feelings for each other.
James & Jeanette had it all – they were young, successful and had been living in America with their three children when, as they put it ‘life got in the way;’ James got made redundant and their perfect life started to unravel, culminating in Jeanette’s affair.
For Better or Worse
A moving story about a couple in their late 50’s who are facing one of the most difficult challenges that life can throw up. Nick has been suffering from Pick’s disease, a form of progressive dementia, for the past 8 years. Victoria’s bittersweet poem is about saying goodbye and holding on to shared memories.
The Twilight Years
– We all like to believe that cupid can strike at any time. Peggy & James Mason are testimony to that. They met aged 84 and 92 in a day centre in Paignton, and their whirlwind romance saw them married within three weeks, earning them the title of ‘Britain’s oldest newlyweds’.
Read Luke’s poems here
19.30 | Fri 13 Feb | Channel 4
Directed by Zara Hayes | Original Poetry by Luke Wright | Produced by Keo Films |