Sex/Crime, Soho Theatre - ★★★ - Until February 1, 2020

Photographer: Matt Spike.

A man goes to a sexual services provider to act out a murder, or does he really wish to be murdered? Is this play about the relationship between a rather specialised sex worker and his masochistic client? Or is the sex worker actually the murderer whom the client fantasises about? There are lots of questions here and a great deal of humour. The acting is as exaggerated as the plot which parodies the public obsession with serial criminals and amusingly illustrates how that obsession can be turned into a business. Do health and safety standards apply in this line of work? For us, it didn't all quite work – perhaps, because we couldn't avoid reflecting on the sad reality that some people don't know the difference between consensual sexual power play and the abuse of vulnerable people who lack a sense of self-worth. Nevertheless, much of the audience seemed to find a lot of humour here and the comedy was painted in very broad strokes. Jonny Woo and Alexis Gregory both caught the tone of this performance piece and sustained it well. While it took some adjusting to get used to the stylised presentation of their characters, they ultimately succeeded in taking us into the world they created and making us accept 'A' and 'B' on the terms in which they were presented. However, the final plot twists, which were certainly clever, then took us out of the exaggerated, satirical and theatrical experience that had been constructed. Suddenly, we seemed to be in the more conventional genre of a cunningly plotted, realistic murder mystery. In a challenging night that raises lots of questions about the cult of celebrity surrounding serial killers and the complexity of human sexuality, Sex/Crime offers an interesting package of dark humour, intellectual engagement and intrigue.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until February 1, 2020
Tue - Sat: 7:15 pm, Sat: 2:45 pm
Soho Theatre
Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road
https://sohotheatre.com/shows/sex-crime/

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