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It is the dynamic chemistry between them that captivates as the balance of power moves from one to the other
Joe Layton arrives first as male stripper Darren. He takes his time checking out the bare room with the annoying light bulb, before boastfully telling something of his story. He oozes cockiness, in a manner of speaking. His quips are well-timed, amusing and told with a knowing glint in the eye. He is clearly one of the lads. He plays this scene so well that it seems a shame not to give him more of a monologue.
But, with a totally contrasting style, female stripper Nina (played by Kate Franz) enters the fore and proves to be equally entertaining. Shocked that she has to share a dressing room with another act, she sets about the process of establishing herself and marking out her territory.
The differences between the pair form the basis of much that follows. Darren is in this for the fun and the thrill. He’s one of the lads and they have played no small part in placing him in this situation. Yet for all his outward show of machismo there are some weaknesses in his armour. As his put-downs of Nina grow she progressively manages to open these up to reveal a far more insecure person beneath. The balance of confidence slowly shifts.
The banter of sexual politics reveals two very different people and it is the dynamic chemistry between them that captivates as the balance of power moves from one to the other. Partial Nudity is a straightforward, unpretentious piece of thoroughly enjoyable theatre that has depth, humour and two fine performances. As their characters might say, “What you see is what you get.”