Theatre / Aspects of Love

"Love Changes Everything"

One of Andrew Lloyd Webber's lesser known musicals. Based on a novella of the same title by David Garnett, it concerns Alex Dillingham, a young English soldier travelling through France. He meets Rose Vibert, a flighty, nymphomaniacal French actress. There's also Alex's uncle George and his lover, Giulietta Trapani, an Italian (presumably Venetian) sculptress. The show details the romantic entanglements and relationships between these people over a period of several years, later including Jenny, George and Rose's daughter.

It has received mixed reactions since its inception. It's certainly not what the public was used to compared to Lloyd Webber's other big musicals at the time, such as Cats, Starlight Express and The Phantom of the Opera. It relies more on the substance of the characters and is more reserved, and possibly more sophisticated, than his bigger hits of The '80s.


This show contains examples of:
  • Adaptation Distillation
  • All Musicals Are Adaptations
  • Anything That Moves: Basically every single character (other than Jenny).
  • Bilingual Bonus: Rose, being French, occasionally sings in French. Also the Musical Pastiche "Parlez-Vous Francais?" which plays in the cafe during Rose and Alex's first date.
  • Book Ends: "Love Changes Everything" begins and ends the show.
  • Breakaway Pop Hit: "Love Changes Everything" was a big hit for Michael Ball in the UK, to the extent that it almost overshadows the rest of the show.
  • Cool Old Guy: George, full stop.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: When played on TV as a single, "The First Man You'll Remember" is a duet between lovers. As staged in the show, it's George and his daughter Jenny play-acting.
    "Well, young man, I'd be delighted..."
  • Daddy's Girl: Jenny.
  • Doting Parent: George. He even gets a song about it.
  • Foreshadowing: after two years of service, Alex returns to George's villa to find that George and Rose have struck up a romance in the interim. Rose defends her decision, claiming, "I've been faithful / and I'm happy, / More faithful than he'll ever be. / It's not as if he's marrying me!" By the end of Act 1, he has. And by the first five or ten minutes of Act 2, we find out that George has given up his playboy ways, while Rose has a lover on the side (with George's knowledge and consent).
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: How Rose and Giulietta get over their jealousy of each other.
  • Has a Type: George's first wife Delia was an actress, like Rose, and the two purportedly look very similar. (Alternative Character Interpretation: Replacement Goldfish. There isn't really enough text to make a firm decision.)
  • How We Got Here: the Framing Device is of Alex leaving Pau for (presumably) the last time, with the entire rest of the show a 17-year-old flashback.
  • It Runs in the Family: Jenny has her mother's taste for older men. And Alex and George both have the same two women (Rose and Giulietta) at different points.
  • "I Want" Song: "There Is More To Love". Also Giulietta's only major number.
  • Jail Bait Wait: Played straight despite Values Dissonance. Jenny actually has to get through two of them. The first ends on her 15th birthday, which is the age of consent in France; at that point she can seduce Alex if she wants (and if he wants, which he doesn't). The second will end three years after the story does, when she reaches her legal majority at 18 and can marry whoever she wants. By making both thresholds her goal, the show manages to conform to SoCalization.
  • Kissing Cousins: Zigzagged. Jenny and Alex are Not Blood Siblings, as George married into the family. However, her pursuit of him is Troubling Unchildlike Behavior, and they are still cousins.
  • Leitmotif: Runs on this, to a rather greater extent than the rest of Webber's canon. In the end it feels like there's only about 8 major numbers in the whole song, re-used over and over.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Alex and George are both interested in Rose.
    • Gender-flipped example: in separate acts, Rose and Jenny both make a dramatic entrance wearing a dress that belonged to George's dead first wife. The first time, he almost has a heart attack. The second, he does some play-flirting with his daughter.
  • Likes Older Women: When Alex and Rose first meet, he's 17, she 25.
  • Love Dodecahedron: The Musical.
  • May-December Romance: Basically every couple except Alex/Giullieta involves this. In ascending order of age gap:
    • We start with Alex and Rose, with the former 17 and the latter 26.
    • Then there's Jenny, who on her 15th birthday makes a play for a man two decades her senior.
    • Finally we have George, who is arguably the patron saint of this trope. At the start of the musical, he's in his sixties and is sleeping with Guillieta, who is about Alex's age. Two years later he marries Rose, then 28. If you run the math, it takes close to a decade of marriage before she stops being less than half his age.
  • Meaningful Funeral: George insists on a giant party with a feast and dancing after he is dead.
  • The Mourning After: George has shied away from long-term entanglements ever since his first wife, Delia, died quite young. Guillieta also lost a husband after a mere five days of wedded bliss.
  • Not Afraid to Die: George.
  • Parental Abandonment: In the musical, Alex's are complete non-entities, to the point that we don't even know why they never appear. (All There In The Original Novel: they're dead.)
  • Parental Substitute: George to Alex at the very start, even though the rest of the musical proves his advice to be wrong.
    • Your mileage may vary on this. George advises Alex not to allow love to overcome his common sense. If Alex had listened to him he would not have shot Rose and had to spend years away from his only family, and if he'd not done that he would have probably seen Jenny grow up and not have been attracted to her.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot / Author Appeal: David Garnett (author of the novel) married his male ex-lover's daughter, whose christening he attended.
  • Second Love: Rose and George to each other.
  • Show Within a Show: Rose is an actress. After the prologue, the musical begins with her starring in the final scene of Henrik Ibsen's The Master Builder, and Act II begins with her in Ivan Turganev's A Month in the Country. The family also attends a circus in act II.
  • Silly Love Songs: The Musical.
  • Soap Opera: The Musical.
  • Sung Through Musical: though, as typical for this trope, not totally without dialogue. All of the Shows Within The Show are non-musicals and are presented as such.
  • Take a Third Option: at the end, both Jenny and Rose make a play for Alex. Instead, he departs with Guillieta.
  • Time Skip: of 12 years, during the intermission.
  • To Absent Friends
  • What Could Have Been: Roger Moore (best known as James Bond) was planned to originate the role of George, but dropped out of rehearsals because (though he was taking lessons) he didn't think he could sing well enough for it.

Alternative Title(s): Aspects Of Love

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