Review Round-Ups

Were the critics moved by Touch?

Vicky Jones’s ”Touch”, at the Soho Theatre until 26 August, shares some DNA with ”Fleabag”

Amy Morgan and James Clyde in Touch
Amy Morgan and James Clyde in Touch
© Helen Maybanks

Matt Trueman, WhatsOnStage


"Despite a steady stream of decent jokes, it's the form that's flat-footed. Touch never really finds a distinct shape for its story and Jones' direction lets it go slack – little more than some strong characterisation."

"Tonally, however, it's pure studio sitcom – think Two Packs of Condoms and a Bottle of Lube – and the whole thing feels like little more than a calling card for a six-part series. Jones never quite finds the gross humour of squalor in the way that, say, Stefan Golaszewski's Him & Her revelled in, and winds up with a slobby Secret Diary of a Call Girl instead. It's not a complete mess, just a bit scruffy and stale."

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian


"Vicky Jones’s new play is a spiky, fearless exploration of what it’s like to be a wine-glugging, sex-loving woman in her 30s. No surprise there: Jones directed the original stage version of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag and the pair are joint artistic directors of the theatre company DryWrite."

"Touch is cut from similar cloth to Fleabag – especially its spectacularly entertaining, cringeworthy opening scene in which single girl Dee (Amy Morgan) attempts to perform a sexy strip for her new Tinder lay, Eddie (James Marlowe). But the weft and weave of this material are different, and Touch is in some ways both more ordinary yet more complex than its predecessor."

Ann Treneman, The Times


"This is for the generation after Bridget Jones, a sort of 50 Shades of Play (with a bit of Grey thrown in). Dee, played superbly by Amy Morgan, has just moved to high-rise London from Swansea… Her tiny flat is a tip, brilliantly created in the revolving set by the designer Ultz, as a square that includes bed, wardrobe, mini-kitchen, loo, shower and what seem to be endless dirty clothes stacked here, there and everywhere."

"It is Morgan who is the key and she pulls it off, young and blowsy, in and out of her various costumes before our eyes: a sort of feminist playing the field, confused, and not just because she always has a wine glass in her hand, but because, well, life is confusing sometimes."

Fergus Morgan, The Stage


"[Touch] presents us with a series of conversations between Dee and a succession of friends, boyfriends, lovers and one-night-stands, from which Jones composes an intelligent, probing study of sexuality, desire and empowerment that ultimately asks the question: is it okay not to be in control?"

"Amy Morgan is superb as Dee, blithely funny and utterly likeable, convincingly hiding her increasingly fraught emotions behind a veil of drink, drugs and desperately disappointing lovers. She is well supported by James Marlowe as a straight-laced control freak, Edward Bluemel as a cocksure, teenage ‘bit of Jack Wills’, James Clyde as an effete older man, Matthew Aubrey as an indecipherable Welsh old flame and Naana Agyei-Ampadu as a girl friend (and girlfriend) struggling with her own problems."

"Jones herself directs with unshowy, naturalistic verve on Ultz's rotating temple of unwashed duvets, empty Pringles tubes and wine-stained glasses. Oh, and the whole thing's funny too. Sitcom in tone, sexual in content – and properly funny."

Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard


"There’s much that appeals about this latest play from Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s company DryWrite, the outfit that gave birth to the all-conquering Fleabag, but also, unfortunately, much that frustrates. What’s undeniably a positive is a warm and witty central performance from the hugely appealing Amy Morgan."

"The trouble is we long to learn more about Dee herself and less about the political views of the middle-aged sadist with whom she hooks up. There are some odd bumps in the plot too: why would Dee put up with a permanently broken toilet rather than phone her landlord? Do one-night stands really engage in a post-coital opening of bank statements?

"Touch disappointingly amounts to little but there’s much humour en route. It also contains my new favourite dramatic exchange: "What’s the time?" "Saturday.""

Claire Allfree, The Telegraph


"Touch‘s Dee shares much DNA with Fleabag‘s eponymous heroine: both are modern and boozy women defined by their refusal to police their sexuality."

In a mark of this comedy’s effervescent intelligence, Jones explores how problematic this is for everyone else. Despite the fact Dee is actually pretty sorted and certainly always in control of her sexual relationships her lovers variously subscribe to the modern sacred cow that a sexually expressive, single woman in her 30s must, by definition, be in some sort of crisis… but the question Jones cleverly asks is why Dee’s sexual curiosity needs to mean anything at all."

"Touch is not as subversive or as fully-fledged as Fleabag: you don’t sense it has the legs to make a TV series, for instance. But Jones proves herself a comic writer of fierce talent, and her production is superbly cast, too. Totally recommended."

Touch runs at the Soho Theatre until 26 August.