Unfaithful
  • By Kyung Oh
  • |
  • 19th Aug 2014
  • |
  • ★★★

Unfaithful is the latest work by Fringe First award-winning writer Owen McCafferty. It is a play about domestic love, relationships and how they fare when infidelity and unconventional attitudes towards sex are introduced.

Overall very good acting, and the script is well paced, with the two relationships mirroring each other in a neat way, but it doesn’t really push the boundaries on how we think about love and relationships.

The play opens in a hotel bar, where a married plumber in his fifties is having a drink by himself. A young, attractive woman approaches him, starts an unwanted conversation, and makes a very forward proposal to the man. When he confesses to his wife the next morning that he has been unfaithful, the woman is fuelled to take revenge, and the play moves on to examining the love and relationships between two couples, one young, one old.

All four actors put on very fine performances. Benny Young plays the plumber as a gruff, middle-aged man who is happy to go about his normal ways until he is forced to examine his strained relationship with his wife. Ameria Darwish plays the plumber’s wife, resentful and furious at her husband’s infidelity, but also confused about what she can do to feel she has had her due. Owen Whitelaw plays a male escort, confidently strutting around the bedroom, and Cara Kelly plays Tara, bored and desperate to bring passion and self-fulfillment into her life.

Over the course of the play, the two couples realise that they need to be more open and frank in their relationships and that love cannot flourish by itself. If this sounds like the makings of a standard play about domestic love and relationships, that’s because the play is exactly that. Though it is well written, the script doesn’t really probe into the way we love our partners and form relationships in particularly new or inventive ways. The show takes place in the Traverse theatre, on an impressive rotating set. Blasting loud electronic music plays during scene changes in case we forget that this is indeed a new, contemporary play.

There is overall very good acting, and the script is well paced, with the two relationships mirroring each other in a neat way, but it doesn’t really push the boundaries on how we think about love and relationships.

Reviews by Kyung Oh

Underbelly, Cowgate

Before Us

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Men in the Cities

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Years to the Day

★★
theSpace on Niddry St

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Summerhall

Snoutology for Beginners

★★★★
C venues - C

The Road to Skibbereen

★★★★★

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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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Can relationships withstand the brutality of betrayal? Joan and Tom, Tara and Peter; two couples struggling to comprehend their roles as lovers, partners and individuals. As Tom and Tara face the tedium of daily life, how far will they go to feel their hearts beat again? When their paths cross, the emotional fall-out will be explosive. From Owen McCafferty, writer of the Fringe First Award-winning Quietly, a stark and searing glimpse into the reality of relationships - the unspoken desires, the piercing regrets, and the postponed conversations that mark us all. Part of Made in Scotland showcase.

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