Taking place in the stylish new Park Theatre, Michael Kingsbury’s play Contact.com opens with a middle-class, middle-aged couple dressed for an evening meal. Both on the brink of taking a plunge into the controversial pool of online swinging: the self-prescribed cure for their ailing marriage. As they frequently remind each other,
“There’s no going back”.
Meet Matthew and Naomi – played by Jason Durr and Tanya Banks respectively. They’re seeking an escape from the monotony of monogamy.
But their prospective partners have an ulterior motive. Enter the younger and less well-off Ryan and Kelly – played by Ralph Aiken and Charlie Brooks.
All four actors fill their roles fantastically, playing off one another and exhibiting excellent comic timing through a multitude of awkward scenarios within Janet Bird’s stylish modern household set.
Under Ian Brown’s slick direction, the quartet cycle through different phases of realisation, their opinions of the situation evolve, making way for home-truths and manipulation.
Against the backdrop of sex, Contact.com speculates on human nature, questioning boundaries, desires and whether to act upon them.
Will swinging turn you into a sex-crazed monster, or will it satisfy and therefore keep at bay the monster within you?
Will it rekindle Matthew & Naomi’s marriage, or destroy it?
Beneath everything, Contact.com is a very English play of manners. It’s a clash of class and culture.
It’s something a bit different – a story about needs (sexual or otherwise), bravery and experimentation.
Featuring a highly entertaining script, performed by great actors at a great venue. Introspective and delightfully ridiculous, Contact.com is well worth a watch.
- By Michael Kingsbury
- Directed by Ian Brown
- Cast includes: Jason Durr, Tanya Franks, Ralph Aiken, Charlie Brooks
- Park Theatre, London
- Until 14th February 2014
- Review by Oliver J Weinfeld
- 15 January 2015