Yours Unfaithfully ★★★★ Jermyn Street Theatre | Jun 1 - Jul 1, 2023

Miles Malleson's play was written in 1933, but its discussion of open marriage is as current as the latest podcast dealing with relationship issues. Jonathan Bank and the Mint Theater Company from New York specialise in resurrecting lost and neglected plays, and they have found a clever and provocative piece in Malleson's work. It is a delight to see a drama that deals thoughtfully and intelligently with controversial subject matter and does not fall back on simplistic advocacy for one position. Malleson's work unabashedly deals the intellectual arguments and the emotional consequences of opening up a relationship, and it does so in an adult and undogmatic way. If the play has a weakness, it is its talkiness, but these are intelligent and articulate people capable of examining their own motivations. Their discursive reflections on their behaviour may not engage everyone, but it is a refreshing change from a lot of the incoherent trauma we've seen in many recent productions. Laura Doddington puts in a nicely layered performance as Anne Meredith, the wife who is emotionally conflicted about her husband's extramarital interest, and Guy Lewis is completely convincing as her intellectually consistent, but rather emotionally obtuse, husband. Tony Timberlake rings absolutely true as Stephen's father. He plays the game by the safe rules of religious tradition and social conscience, but he is not without feeling for his son who is attempting to find a path truer to himself. Malleson leavens his dialogue with humour, but it is his multifaceted characters and nuanced approach to a complicated subject that make this revival a refreshing and rewarding theatrical experience.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Steve Gregson

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