Yes, these are terrible people, who shouldn't have a baby, and spend all their time thinking about sex, and being bad friends, and bad partners, but it's an entertaining evening anyway. Upstairs Downstairs' Ed Stoppard does a creditable American accent, Agyness Deyn makes lasers with her eyes, and John Schwab is the most convincing morally vapid sexually voracious hedonist I've seen in a while, but who IS this Melanie Gray? Where did she come from, and why haven't I heard of her? Her descent into drinking is perfect, her scorn for her husband and life in general searing, her speech about "having everything [she] ever wanted" sardonically scalding, and her comic timing perfect! She nails every laugh without laughing. When she laughed in the encore, I was surprised because she convinced me, that like her lost soul character, Mary, she couldn't laugh. One to watch. - steveatplays
21 Mar 12
On my last visit to Trafalgar Studio 2 a chap in the audience looked ready to kill the cast of Sex With a Stranger, such was his frustration with the characters. I hope he avoids this because he would probably spontaneously combust. Francois Archambault claims to be seeking to provoke the audience and he has certainly achieved that but I have no idea what other points he is trying to make with this story of two deeply tiresome yuppies, their friend and his "special" friend. A couple who seemingly have it all but are consumed by boredom is hardly original but cruelty towards their baby is treated nonchanantly, as if it was almost justifiable. There is also a threesome (off stage) which reminded me of the adolescent puerility of Wanderlust. Ed Stoppard bellows his way through a performance which is totalyy unsuited to this small space but Melanie Gray does the best she can with the morally reprehensible Mary and Agyness Deyn manages not to bump into the furniture on her stage debut. The Leisure Society gained terrific reviews from the Canadian press which makes you wonder about the state of theatre in Montreal. - David Baxter
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