WORTH A LOOK?: ***
WHEN: 27/8, press night 31/8 runs to 8/10
This is our first visit to this venue which is a temporary theatre on the site of the former Central St Martins School of Art in Soho.
- Read on for why staff were giving away free bottles of water to the audience before the show
Owen McAfferty’s 65-minute one-act play is set simply with a bed centre stage and a bar appearing inside a mirrored bedroom wardrobe.
Tara (Ruta Gedmintas) flirts with Tom (Sean Campion) in a hotel bar as her partner (Matthew Lewis, Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films) works as a male prostitute elsewhere in the venue.
Niamh Cusack is spellbinding as Tom’s wife, chucking c-bombs into her haranguing of her husband as she struggles to understand why he is behaving as he does. Campion makes the most of an unsympathetic role and although the resolution of their relationship feels contrived the audience has sympathy for him.
Less convincing is the partnership between Lewis and Gedmintas because we’re struggling to find traits within them that make them feel real and people who one might bump into in a hotel bar.
In the end the evening is dominated by the venue. It’s an interesting space with the stage at the heart of about 100-or-so seats but it is so poorly ventilated that staff are handing out free bottles of water to the audience to make it through the show.
It was certainly a hot evening but for once there were relatively few sparks from the stage.