Ticket Offer

Monday, 20 March 2017

REVIEW: Threesome at Union Theatre


Despite being normally a traditionalist, I must admit that the Union Theatre has benefitted quite remarkably from last year's relocation across the road. The new reception is less claustrophobic and offers both a bar and a cafe with lovely baked snacks. Also, the sitting area is more spacious, although still tends to be heavily congested towards the beginning of the show. The auditorium feels larger and, with a staircase coming down on stage right, allows for some interesting cast entrances.

Threesome begins with a short video clip where Sam (Chris Willoughby) and Kate (Gemma Rook) are sipping a cocktail by the bar of what seems to be a night club. Soon we learn that they're going through a marriage crisis and – in a desperate attempt to revive their sexual life – have decided to find a girl disposed to join them in a threesome. In the smoking area of the club Sam and Kate hook up with Lucy (April Pearson) who, after an initial reticence, agrees to take them to her flat (which is recreated on stage). 

When the live play commences, we soon realise that Lucy – despite being the youngest – has a lot more experience in bed than the couple but her deliberate brazenness encounters a strong resistance from Kate, who's jealous of her husband but also annoyed by her own inability to dare. What follows is a 90-minute (plus interval) slapstick comedy where the uninhibited girl, the average man and his frigid wife discuss the difference between sex and love, and establish a number of ground rules before heading to the bedroom.

Actor and stand-up comedian Chris Willoughby is the man of the show and I could argue that without a good casting for his role Threesome wouldn't work as well as it does. His side-splitting clumsiness is brilliant and his physical efforts to impress the ladies have the whole auditorium in stitches throughout the performance. Rook and Pearson do a great job in supporting his character and bringing out his awkwardness with a number of well-chosen punch-lines.

Writer and director Jamie Patterson's background in filmmaking comes across
through the importance given to the visual element. Much like in a sitcom, the dialogues are quite shallow and occasionally naive, but strong emphasis is given to the gestures and the facial expressions of every cast member. For the same purpose, music plays an important role and comes back in different occasions to spice up the action.

Threesome is a fun and light-hearted comedy devised for a broad audience and I suspect that people would chose to see it in particular for the male actor's name on the board – a role that Willoughby unquestionably nailed!

Review by Marianna Meloni

Rating: ★★★★

No comments:

Post a Comment