by Jake Brunger.
Theatre 503, to 12 March
The Latchmere, 503 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 3BW to 12 March 2016.
Tues-Sat 7.45pm Mat Sun 5pm.
Runs 1hr 20 mins No interval.
TICKETS: 020 7978 67040.
Review: William Russell 19 February.
The seven and a half year itch; a real treat.
Rafe and Peter have been living together for seven and a half monogamous years. They met at university and have never had sex with anyone else, but time passes and something is not quite right. They decide they need to find out what it is they are missing and ask Michael, the partner of Andrew, a friend from university days, to help out. Michael and Andrew have an open relationship with one rule. Michael gets to do what he likes with whoever he likes but once only.
Michael, a lusty lad, is intrigued and says yes. He is even more intrigued when he discovers just what it is the lads ask him to do. Their requests could not be more different. They may have spent seven and a half years together but they are clearly chalk and cheese.
But he also tells Andrew about it, that being part of their open relationship and Andrew gets rather annoyed. Not because Michael has done what he did, but because these two old friends had not asked him to help out. Things take off from there.
The result is a funny, perceptive comedy full of twists and turns about the difficulty of having a relationship and keeping it interesting which ends with everyone a little sadder and possibly wiser. There is a lot to be said for sowing wild oats. Nothing is quite what it seems and there is a serpent in this Eden. The clues are there, especially one unanswered question well into the proceedings, as to who it is.
Cal Brigden is wonderfully twitchy as Rafe, a wolf in sheep’s clothing Rafe, Michael Gilbert, is sweetly soppy as Pete, Peter Hannah makes Michael every inch the lust bucket he is said to be, and Michael James simmers beautifully as the hapless Andrew.
They could hardly be bettered. There is also a really stunning set by Cecilia Carey and director Jonathan O’Boyle has kept the whole thing moving briskly to a rewarding conclusion. Theatre 503 should have a hit on its hands.
Rafe: Cal Brigden.
Pete: Michael Gilbert.
Michael: Peter Hannah.
Andrew: Michael James.
Director: Jonathan O’Boyle.
Designer: Cecilia Carey.
Lighting Designer: Jack Weir.
Sound Designer: Max Perryment.