In a world of thumping dance music and techno lighting, Rafe (Cai Brigden) and Pete (Michael Gilbert) begin to wonder whether their faithful seven-and-a-half-year relationship can provide all the world has to offer. Trusting that a tryst might scratch the seven-year itch, they recruit Michael (Peter Hannah) to satiate their desires, under the condition that Andrew (Michael James), his partner and their friend, must never know. The rules are set and the chase is on; the four characters become players in an ever-escalating game of love, lust, and longing.
With sharp scene shifts and quick set changes, the action jumps from rendezvous to rendezvous until, after much foreplay, it reaches its climax, a delicious dinner party where the audience is in on the secret. Hilarity and severe discomfort ensue while all four men realise the false simplicity of the phrase ‘it’s just sex’, and each in their own turn must reconcile their relationship status. Moments of deep sincerity transport the play from a straightforward situational comedy to a nuanced exploration of how relationships (both platonic and not) are kindled, sustained, and extinguished.
Four Play’s strong climax is also its weakness: the scenes directly afterwards lose the pent-up energy and anticipation that fuels the first half of the play. And it could go even further discussing expectations of love (particularly the shame felt when love wanes), and the crippling belief that we must have it all. Nevertheless, with strong performances and a charming script, Four Play is a heartfelt and humorous play well worth a trip to Theatre503.
|What||Four Play, Theatre 503 review|
The Latchmere, 503 Battersea Park Road, London, SW11 3BW | MAP
|Nearest tube||Clapham Common (underground)|
16 Feb 16 – 12 Mar 16, Showing from Tuesday to Sunday, at 7.45pm
|Price||£12 - 15|
|Website||Click here to book your tickets via the Theatre 503's official website|