Sex Lives of Others

‘Oh yeah! Harder! Do it to me!’ Would you eavesdrop on your neighbours’ sex life? It’s hard to not be a little curious about what other people get up to. Certainly the two couples featured in this production have a positive fascination with the moans of pleasure they can hear through the walls. James and Hilary are middle-aged and middle-class - the kids are at Granny and Grandpa’s for the weekend, so they’ve got the house to themselves. Kerry and Sonny have just woken up with cracking hangovers and are intent on curing them with Irn Bru. Each couple bickers and eavesdrop and gets down to business - but as a show it’s surprisingly light and easy to watch.

The lightness might be a result of the delivery - the acting style is close to a TV sitcom, churning out jokes and quips in quick succession. Jessica Baglow and Matt Green as Kerry and Sonny particularly excel in their couple’s tiffs, toeing the line between joking and insulting. The name-calling is glee-inducing - I’ll let you ponder the insult ‘carrot-smuggler’. The small stage is used well: there’s no wall between the two pairs of neighbours, only lighting to shift the audience’s focus from one side of the stage to the other.

It’s not quite as filthy as you might expect from the title and the premise might lead you to expect. The on-stage shenanigans are brief, fully clothed, and never much discussed. It feels oddly tame for a show that’s branding itself as shocking and explicit. A production that could have been dark and deviant ends up falling back on mummy-porn cliches. As a result, The Sex Lives of Others doesn’t seem very substantial - it’s well-produced and skilfully acted but after the unexpectedly premature ending, you’re left not quite satisfied.

Reviews by Hannah Mirsky

Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

The Blurb

We all know what they're up to. Don't we? A comedy about what's really happening next door, from writer Keely Winstone and director Hannah Eidinow (winner, five Fringe Firsts). 'Gloriously filthy; darkly funny' (Jo Brand).

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