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Posts Tagged ‘DryWrite’

Playwrights normally choose their own subjects, but on this occasion Jack Thorne was asked by new writing theatre company DryWrite to produce something that explored privacy and intimacy, with a man and a woman, set in their shared domestic bathroom. Well, you can’t say he didn’t deliver!

Mydidae is apparently a family of large flower-loving flies. I only scraped a biology ‘O’ level (remember those?), so I had to go to Wikipedia to find that out. I’m still not sure why it’s called that, but perhaps it’s a reference to the audience. You really do feel like a fly on the wall as you sit in the tiny Trafalgar Studio Two space looking into an uber-realistic bathroom without walls, watching David & Marian clean their teeth, shave, pee and bath!

It all starts out very RomCom and not at all uncomfortable to watch. They appear to be a perfectly normal happy couple doing normal everyday things, both together and alone. In addition to the aforementioned acts you expect in a bathroom, they scratch in places and in a way people normally scratch and make customary overuse of the mirror. David talks to a work colleague on the phone about that day’s sales pitch and Marian calls her mum and plans a visit. Yet you know there has been some tragedy in their recent past and there’s an undercurrent of walking on eggshells.

The play takes an extraordinary turn when they take a bath together, and this was the point where, for me, realism turned into implausibility. I didn’t really buy the motivation behind the shocking turn of events and in particular the reaction to them, so as they lost the plot, so did I. The concept is original and the writing is good. Vicky Jones’ staging and Amy Jane Cook’s design are both highly effective. Keir Charles and Phoebe Waller-Bridge are exceptional and their relationship seems ever so real.

Though I’m glad I saw it, my failure to believe in the turn of events ultimately undermined my satisfaction with the play. Great that it’s getting a showcase in the West End, though, and at accessible prices too.

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