If you want ironing, try Look back in Anger....brave....sad....bollocks.
Nice acting though. - coral
26 Feb 12
Booking for Sex With a Stranger was on a par with asking to see Mike Bartlett's Cock, but I have seldom been so confused by how to react to a play. Three unbearably boring characters spouting unbelievably mundane banalities made for 85 minutes of unspeakable tedium. On occasion it ground to a complete standstill - watching a shirt being silently ironed for three minutes, even by a pretty actress, does not make for exciting theatre, nor do painfully slow conversations about night buses or salad. The chap sitting opposite me looked ready to throttle all three of them and I could understand his mounting irritation. However, there is a suspicion that this is exactly the effect Stefan Golaszewski was trying to achieve, to portray the sterility of Adam and Ruth's relationship and the seemingly inevitable one night stand. If that wasn't the intention then I should have followed my instinct that this is 1-star rubbish. Jamie Winstone finds a spark of personality in the vacuous Grace and Naomi Sheldon is good at looking mournful but Russell Tovey is given a thankless task as the charmless Adam - in relaity neither of these two girls would go anywhere near him. This might be a case of the emperor's new clothes with everyone looking for profundities that don't exist and in fact it really is monumentally boring. - David Baxter
24 Feb 12
Some nice acting but poor script - Tim
12 Feb 12
This play could quite easily be played in a double-bill with Herding Cats, as both are very short, and both detail the lonely and banal lives of three apparently normal people. Both plays are caustic and realistic and bleak (though perhaps Herding Cats is slightly less hopeful and slightly more funny than this). Superficially, this play is about a man who has sex with a stranger, but Russell Tovey's central character is no ordinary man: he's a banal common everyday sociopath, who mirrors back at women what they say to him to pretend he has empathy. It is Tovey's character Adam who is the real "stranger" here, unknowable, because, beneath his casual banter, he is as knowable as a great white shark. He is a predator playing other people as if they are pawns in a chess game. Tovey is chilling and convincing in this play, and Stefan Golaszewski brilliantly and realistically conjures for him the most banal everyday life experiences (seducing a girl at a noisy club, casually lying to his girlfriend at home), in which he operates from scene to scene purporting to be reasonable and understanding, but truthfully being detached and uncaring. What he wants is conquest. Naomi Sheldon is astonishing as his betrayed girlfriend, Ruth, her big eyes the most sadly expressive of anxiety as any I have seen. The bewildered vacancy that sometimes overtakes her eyes is sometimes hilarious, always sad. Jaime Winstone is also great in this, playing a character who just might be a little bit like Adam, but also a little bit like Ruth. Her earthy performance very much places the play in the real world, her vacuity and vanity and emptiness aching with honesty. Tovey's character is wonderfully conceived, perfectly played, and hard to take, and that's why this play is more hopeful than Herding Cats: whichever girl escapes this monster's influence will surely have a better future. - steveatplays
09 Feb 12
I thought the ironing scene was very brave and very sad. - Taljaard
07 Feb 12
The only thing better than this review is the play itself.
xo - Luna
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