Don’t Smoke In Bed
Reality Rating: 5/5
Fidget Factor: 0.1
Just The Two Of Us, If Only
Compromise. All relationships have to adjust – give a little, take a little or even a lot to make things work. Jamaican-American Richard and Irish-American Sheryl soon find they’re having to give a lot more than they bargained for. A series of ‘bedroom interviews’ (no naughty business, strictly professional) explores their interracial relationship first hand. Initially the couple portray a modern model of a cultured and enlightened alliance. However, as they start a family, these ideals are pushed beyond boundaries and pressure from society becomes an unavoidable strain on their own relationship.
A hugely important piece of theatre, Aurin Squire’s Dont Smoke In Bed makes social politics particularly personal. Taboo is unearthed. Fears and feelings are surrendered to the third person in this love triangle; the interviewer. Never seen but creatively represented through glowing light boxes, the journalist as a third character allows Richard and Sheryl to declare their deepest anxieties and desires without judgement. This production invigorates the audiences political senses, confirmed by the debates on race and gender that spiral during the interval.
‘A new broom sweep clean, but an old broom know every corner’, Richard’s not entirely romantic way of telling Sheryl they lovingly know every part of each other, if only that were true. Clare Latham and Greg Lockett give an electrifying performance in this two hander. Latham is a truly organic actress, natural and compelling on stage. If I had seen this production just one week earlier she would definitely have made my top 5 inspirational women during International Women’s Day.
Great chunks of monologues go unrecognised due to Andrew Twyman’s clever direction of the pair; constant interaction is engaged, whether it be between one another or the silent third party. Aurin’s rhymes aren’t an uncomfortable, sticky addition but rather add a playfulness to the lovers which later passionately show their loves demise.
Finsborough Theatre holds Emily May Sions’ transcendent set design, using subtle lighting throughout to show divide and abstract, window-like shapes make a home. This performance is centered around the bed but our senses are guided by the creative input from the set and sound. A core part to this production’s success.
A groundbreaking production which I hope will reach many more audiences. Don’t miss out, get down to Finborough Theatre before this play leaves London!
Click for Tix: Finborough
Time: 1 Hour 30, with a 15 minute break for one or two political debates, sparked by the production
Running: 6 MAR 16 ► 22 MAR 16
♥ Thank you Ellie Claughton for inviting me. A sophisticated and phenomenal production – congratulations
♥ Thank you Greg Spong for a smoking hot illustration