Tuesday, 15 January 2019

REVIEW: Coming Clean at Trafalgar Studios


Run down to the Trafalgar studios before it’s too late and see this revival of Kevin Elyot’s comedy “Coming Clean”, led by four fantastic actors and gifting you with laughs, shock, love and friendship.

Written in 1982, Elyot’s play tells the story of Tony, his American boyfriend of five years Greg, his good friend Will and their cleaner (who is also an actor) Robert. Set entirely in Tony’s sitting room, we enter a smoke-filled and cosy 80s London apartment with its filthy walls and messy couch. Tony and Greg are in a loving but open relationship, and Tony likes to have casual sex and go to bars with his friend Will to pick up men. Things seem fine for the couple until Robert enters the picture and their intimacy and relationship pact start to suffer.

Over the course of two hours, we are highly amused at the banter and warm friendship between Tony and Will, and also slightly betrayed when the young Robert becomes Greg’s lover. It’s as if a bubble has been burst, and between Will suffering from a homophobic attack and Tony wondering about monogamy, things are shifting. 

I have to mention the beautiful set by Amanda Mascarenhas. Stage left, you exit into the kitchen, where Robert, who happens to be an excellent cook, prepares food and beverages. To the right, the actors exit into a hall which leads to the flat’s other room and front door, always supported by sound effects by Yvonne Gilbert. The central red couch, which the actors jump on, eat on and are fully comfortable on (I would imagine some work being done with the movement director Jessica Boyd), the record player and the very specific classical music that the men like to play, as well as the cluttered dinner table are also well thought-out. 

Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher leads the actors beautifully through the
scenes, drinking liquor, eating eclairs and having sex. Lee Knight and Elliot Hadley in particular are stunning in their roles of two friends enjoying life, and there is a certain nostalgia of a less complicated time when pints were only 90p (this was a lot back then!) and you could probably afford a flat in Kentish Town. 

This is a fun and must-see comedy about friendships and troubles between four gay men.

Review by Sophie Tergeist

Rating: ★★★★

Seat: B4 | Price of Ticket: £30
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