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Love Struck

A pharmacist with ambitions to become an inventor meets a daring circus dancer...

An interpretation of Sarah Maitland's Instant Light story commissioned by The Council of the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees, Love Struck is a duet which tells the story of John Walker, the pharmacist from Stockton who invented the friction match, and his imagined encounter with an exuberant circus performer, Vesta, named after the Goddess of the Hearth.

She is an exhibitionist - a gorgeous extrovert with pointe shoes on her feet and ribbons flying from her hands. He is lonely, obsessive and struggling to light his fire. Together, they become accidental alchemists - and the spark between them ignites the way for a beautiful and intimate journey.

Artistic Director Liv Lorent says:

"For me, Love Struck is a timeless story of how serendipity can change a life - and how effort can sometimes be rewarded. Making light, creating fire, and searching for companionship will always be a human desire. We live for those moments of light.

I always loved the idea that a woman can be a muse, and that a romantic encounter between two people can unlock all manner of creative potential. The spark of two opposites - two misfits - and their attraction is the interesting stuff of life as well as legend.
I choreographed Love Struck very much in collaboration with our dancers Gavin Coward and Natalie Trewinnard, and balletLORENT's Associate Director Debbi Purtill. We have been working together to tell the story we want to tell. We are grateful to SIRF for having faith in us to take on this commission, and we have enjoyed applying our skills to the challenge.
It has also been so lovely to collaborate with Circus Central who have been so generous in sharing their skills with us. We welcome the participation and support of this exciting group of artists.

Love Struck is balletLORENT's first outdoor commission and we hope to perform it internationally, where we will be able to attract new audiences to our work. We hope that our audiences will become as enchanted with the characters of John and Vesta as we have found ourselves to be."

Liv has been joined by longtime balletLORENT collaborators Phil Eddolls (Set Designer) and Malcolm Rippeth (Lighting Designer), as well as new collaborators Scott Twynholm (Composer) and Kevin Pollard (Costumes).

Love Struck has been especially created by balletLORENT for Stockton International Riverside Festival 2015.


Running time: 30 minutes

balletLORENT would like to thank Dr Graeme Turnbull and the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria University for their assistance with the stage effects in Love Struck




balletLORENT Limited is a registered charity in England and Wales (no.1162921) and a registered company (no.05093450)

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Liv Lorent

Liv Lorent
in collaboration with the dancers and Associate Director

Set Designer
Phil Eddolls

Music composed by
Scott Twynholm

Costume Designer
Kevin Pollard

Lighting Designer
Malcolm Rippeth

Associate Director
Debbi Purtill

Joe Hall

Special Guests
Circus Central



Gavin Coward
Natalie Trewinnard


Images: Bill Cooper 2015