Fourplay

Delving into the fractures of modern day life, Jane Bodie deliberately imbues her work with a banal plotline enlivened by a quick, satirical wit. Fourplay brilliantly observes the dissolution of a relationship over time, exposing the complexities of an increasingly frenzied world.

Stuck in a complacent albeit convenient relationship, Alice (Chelsea Gilroy), a former actor-turned-care worker, and Tom (Alan McKenzie), a somewhat struggling actor, appear to be in limbo rather than love. Admitting that they have less in common now that Alice has stopped acting and that she sometimes sleeps on the couch, the cracks in their relationship quickly begin to show. Tom’s one-on-one rehearsals with the brazenly sassy Natasha (Roisin Diamond), promptly leads to temptation: is he willing to risk his relationship and open the gates to infidelity?

Meanwhile, as Alice’s relationship with Tom steadily begins to erode, she begins to spend more time with her eccentric and socially inept co-worker Jack (Martyn Forbes). Jack’s quirky, neurotic traits fascinate Alice and despite confessing his unsettling secret, Alice finds herself deeply drawn to Jack.

The actors perform the play well and for the most part do it justice. Most notably, I found the convincing onstage rapport between Alan and Roisin most enjoyable. Marytn’s depiction of bumbling Jack’s kooky mannerisms was most entertaining, while Chelsea’s skilful and nuanced performance of Alice encapsulated the emotional decomposition of the couple’s relationship. For me, the believability of Alice and Jack’s relationship was a difficult task for Chelsea and Martyn to undertake and at points hampered the flow of the piece.

A candid exploration into a four-person love triangle, Fourplay acutely portrays a relationship that is past its sell-by date entwined with lust, infidelity and a disquieting revelation and will leave you questioning the value of commitment. With some superb acting on display combined with fine direction, this play guarantees to entertain.

Reviews by Emma Steedman

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Performances

The Blurb

Foreplay: sexual stimulation, usually a prelude to sexual intercourse … usually. Two egotistical actors in steamy rehearsals. One long-term relationship with no sex. Two co-workers, one with a secret obsession. Four people, three relationships ... things aren’t adding up!

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