Partial Nudity

This might only be Partial Nudity, but it’s a full-on piece from writer/director Emily Layton and actors Kate Franz and Joe Layton. The plot is simple. A Bolton pub is hosting a stag do and a hen party in separate rooms. They have each booked a stripper, but unbeknownst to the acts involved, there is only one dressing room.

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.”

Reviews by Richard Beck

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Since you’re here…

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

A Bolton pub. One stag do. One hen do. Two strippers forced to share a dressing room. For Darren, a local lad, this will be his first full strip. For Nina, an international student at Manchester, it’s just another stag to pay off her student loans. Over the course of this claustrophobic 50-minute drama, these two strangers descend into a territory that leaves the audience feeling as exposed as they are. A Fringe debut for Anglo-American Fandango Productions, this play explores gender and sexual politics and the inequality that affects us all today.

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