Sex in the Sixties? Well, that was the decade of sexual liberation (though it rather passed your reviewer by). But sex for the over-sixties? Back in the 1960s, your reviewer would have though it impossible, or at least undesirable. But that is the subject of this new “dramatic comedy”, as it is billed. And it is certainly funny, though tinged with sadness, as good comedy should be, though some of the humour is a little on the black side. Again, no bad thing.
The three characters have all just turned 60, and your reviewer was selected to review this play because he was thought to be old enough to have some personal insight into their dilemma. He is actually a septuagenarian, so the characters are spring chickens as far as he is concerned. They are lonely sexagenarians. One is a divorced taxi-driver, with a cabbie’s dexterity in patter, who falls for a bird half his age. One is a hotel cleaner who discovers that one of the bedrooms has been used for more than just sleeping, and gets a useful tip (in more than one sense) from the lady guest. The third is a gay man, lonely after his husband recently passed away, who discovers the digital possibilities of Tinder and Grinder, and goes to it with, well, gay abandon.
Their picaresque adventures are brought to life with no more props than a couple of chairs and a small table. The lively script, the storytelling of the actors and the audience’s imagination do the rest. Perhaps not enough has been left to the imagination when it comes to the descriptions of sex – if you were thinking of taking a prudish maiden aunt to the show, that is. There did not seem to be any of those in the audience last night. The blurb describes the play as a “thought-provoking insight into the human condition”. Well, I wouldn’t go that far. Nor would I go along with the blurb’s contention that “stories of older singles dating in London” are “under-represented”. I’m not sure we need a lot more of them. But the quality of the script and the acting certainly make this an enjoyable one-off.
A word of warning. Don’t sit on the long bench at the front. I did, in order to get a close-up view. But it was so uncomfortable that by the end of the show I felt like I had had an encounter with one of those chaps from Grinder that the gay character was talking about. But don’t worry. The play itself is far from being a pain in the a***.
- Writer Bren Gosling
- Director Su Gilroy
- Photo credit: Su Gilroy
- Cast: Debbie Christie, Andrew Fettes, Philip Gill
- Venue: Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre,
- Until: 11th September 2021
- Time : 7.45 p.m. Running time : 1 hour