Four Play, Above The Stag Theatre - ★★★★ - Until February 22, 2020


What makes a successful relationship? Fidelity? Honesty? Both or neither? Jake Brunger's Four Play explores the question of whether an open relationship can work, or are there just romantic, faithful people and sexually adventuresome, unfaithful ones – and ne'er the twain should meet. Pete (Keeran Blessie) and Rafe (Ashley Byam) have been together seven and a half years and have never had another partner. They decide to ask friend Michael (Declan Spaine) to help them explore new horizons. He's a safe bet because he's in an open relationship with Andrew (Marc MacKinnon). No danger of an emotional entanglement there, but he needs to be discreet about the experiment! And so the fun and complications begin. Although historically speaking, sexual fidelity became the gold standard of commitment and love in heterosexual partnerships relatively recently (with women never getting an equal right to play around) it has now also been adopted by many gay people, with all the usual consequences. On the other hand, with open relationships it is the issue of honesty that becomes rather fraught, particularly where there is insecurity involved. Brunger's clever dialogue wrings a lot of humour and some insight out of his protagonists' wrestling with these dilemmas and the plot is well constructed. All of the parts have been well cast and the principals do a terrific job of taking us on their journey – from the näive notion that it is relatively simple to organise these matters to the hard recognition that developing and maintaining a relationship with lovers or friends is pretty complicated. For an evening of great entertainment that will have you debating with your friend or partner what is really necessary to make "it" work, we're sure you'll enjoy Four Play.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until February 22, 2020
Various show times available (see website below)
Above The Stag Theatre, Studio Theatre
Nearest tube: Vauxhall
https://abovethestag.org.uk/whatson/four-play/

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