Imagine a home–made sex tape goes missing during a clear out and months later, a young man knocks on your door holding the disc in his hand. How would you react?
This is writer Brian Marchbank’s fifth play, and as a retired police sergeant himself, it’s fair to say that the content may not be that far-fetched. Indeed, Marchbank’s script never outstays its welcome with a tight plot very deftly handled by Director Alyx Tole. The momentum of the roller-coaster ride increases all the time in this hilarous story as the trio bound from one hapless incident to the next.
Nathan Morris’s Sam treads a fine line between ladies man and lech. His radiant manner makes his character all the more real, and he quickly becomes as much a part of the furniture as the battered leather sofa in the middle of the stage. Playing to the audience with his cheeky smirks and womanising powers, Morris turns a character who ought to be creepy into something far more cool.
Lucy Faint’s bookish Kate was my favourite character in the play. From her dowdy appearance and Deirdre style glasses through to her obsession with classic music and her nerdy boyfriend Martin, Kate turns from frump to fanciable as Faint’s one liners come quickly and effortlessly in a well constructed and believeable character.
Jane Allighan completes the trio as randy Carol, the subject of the DVD. What initially seems like a randy widower with only one thing on her mind soon becomes more than that and is delicately played by Allighan as we delve into her past.
One thing that is clear is how good all three leads are at the physical comedy and farce demanded by the script. Several very awkwardly written moments (such as the moment Sam turns up on Carol’s doorstep with the offending DVD in hand) are handled with hilarity by the cast and lapped up by the audience and importantly, all three leads have excellent chemistry with each other. Marchbank clearly has a talent for making farce funny with several laugh out moments.
Think of it as one of the homely 70’s sitcoms gone wrong and crossed with the offspring of Robin Askwith’s “Confessions…” series of films, and you’re not far off. Well worth seeing, A Steamy Affair is a fantastic first outing from Poppabear Productions.
The Fiction Stroker gives A Steamy Affair four strokes out of five:
A Steamy Affair is on at the Kings Arms, Bloom Street, Salford from Monday 8th Oct to Thursday 11th Oct at 7.30pm and Saturday 13th October and Sunday 14th October at 4pm. Tickets are available from www.studiosalford.com.