Sex With A Stranger is the third play from writer Stefan Golaszewski. His previous two shows were one man pieces looking at love and relationships, the first of which, Stefan Golaszewski Speaks About A Girl He Once Loved, launched him sensationally onto the scene. It showed he had an incredible way with words, finding the funny and heartbreaking and captivating an audience. The good news is this, three-hander play, shows that he hasn't lost his touch.
Russell Tovey plays Adam, who we follow through the non-linear narrative of the play. We meet him as he waits for a night bus home with Grace (Jamie Winstone) after having pulled her in a club, and clearly with one thing on his mind, however it's not long till we realise he has Ruth (Naomi Sheldon) waiting at home for her boyfriend to return.
Tovey is in fine form, bringing a truth to the role. He is a fine comic actor, rasing laughs from the smallest of shifts in facial expression, yet it is in the characters darker moments where he shines. Winstone is every inch the outgoing yet shy and damanged Essex girl, and Sheldon offers a truly sympathtic insight to the girlfriend Adam has found himself with.
Director Philip Breen, like the writer, are masters of saying so much, whilst using so little. Quick fire scenes, simple staging and well timed pacing make sure that the ordinary isn't overly theatrical and the performances match. They are subtle, nuanced and devastatingly intimate as you find yourself forced into their lives. Laughter flows thick and fast and leaving you invited to make your own interpretations and moral judgements on the characters.
Sex With A Stranger wondrously captures the everyday, from the over-use of the word nice to the banality of conversations. Golaszewski's has an ear for dialogue, creating speech patterns we all recognise and juicy characters which make for a witty, modern and at times, painfully truthful play.
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