by D C Moore.
Bush Theatre 7 Uxbridge Road W12 8LJ To 22 December 2012.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat 2.30pm.
Runs: 2hr 15min One interval.
TICKETS: 020 8743 5050.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 27 November.
The funnier it get the less it reveals.
Inspired by a film (Lynn Shelton’s Humpday) and with a setting which implies the Sheffield (Crucible studio) origin of Richard Wilson’s premiere production, D C Moore’s play starts as young married pair Lewis and Morgan argue over fitting something new into their lives.
Or someone new into the ample bedsit where they’re imprisoned by falling property prices. Could it accommodate the baby that’s the next natural stage of their middle-class life-cycle? Its imminence is lessened as Morgan sits up working into advanced tiredness. Whereupon sex, and old Lewis buddy Waldorf intrude like next morning’s post.
Carefree backpacker Waldorf certainly finds room as the home-owners take to the bed that’s aptly shoved into a corner of their living-space. He’s followed by Steph, a happy smoker who possibly never touches nicotine. And it’s her brief, comic intervention that starts the trail to the shorter second act, where the men experiment with making a gay porn film.
This, in Wilson’s production, which opts for realistic settings, realised in contrasting plain and fancy detail by designer James Cotterill, shifts to an ornate, ghastly-good-taste top-of-the-range hotel bedroom. It’s huge bed dominates this room as the initially confident Waldorf acquires increasing amounts of his old friend’s physical nervousness – reflected in the audience-tantalizing, down-to-their-underwear will-they/won’t they? tension as the men square up in or out of sight of their video-camera.
But the scene is no more about sex than was Morgan and Lewis’s discussion over having a child. It is, of course, but ultimately it’s the means to a something more. For Lewis, possibly for on-the-surface casual Waldorf, it’s about re-establishing a more instinctive time and friendship.
And Morgan is working at her relationship on a deeper level. Amid the four strong, realistic portrayals, Jessica Ransom deftly suggests the effort to plan ahead, in contrast to the overgrown boys’ games and the inconsequentiality with which Steph floats hazily, if happily, through life. It could be her story would make more interesting viewing than the semi-farcical awkwardness of the boys’ night out.
Waldorf: Philip McGinley.
Lewis: Henry Pettigrew.
Steph: Jenny Rainsford.
Morgan: Jessica Ransom.
Director: Richard Wilson.
Designer: James Cotterill.
Lighting: Johanna Town.
Composer: Michael Bruce.
Assistant director: Jon Pashley.