Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Racy play fails to deliver

The Blue Room

Visiting company , New Theatre, Cardiff , March 11, 2003

THE Blue Room, or rather its nudity, had been the talk of the town and from a female perspective, expectations had been raised to just below waist level.

But it failed to deliver complete satisfaction.

This racy little play could easily make some people see red and others blush red but for most of the women in the audience it was a case of the green-eyed monster.

While the men in the audience were looking at Tracey Shaw's disproportionately huge feet, the women were sizing up her chest as a possible boob job.

The play, adapted from a 19th century taboo-busting novel, is the Sex, Lies and Videotape of the stage.

Jason Connery and Shaw, of Coronation Street fame, are the entire cast.

The play opened with Shaw as a prostitute and comprised of 10 scenes of simple dialogue between two consenting adults, before and after their mostly casual sex.

One character from each section emerged with a new partner in the next, with the prostitute reappearing in the final sketch to complete the promiscuous circle.

As a former Robin of Sherwood, Connery continued to play the thief and stole the show.

It was difficult not to think of Coronation Street and Maxine when Shaw first appeared on stage and it was not until scene eight where she played a forthright actress that her voice could really be heard.

Everyone is unfaithful and nobody is a victim.

On the surface, instantaneous gratification is the name of this game and on the stopwatch, the taxi driver broke the speed record.

In reality each character living in the Blue Room is a desperado and the brief but bleak sexual encounters are lonely attempts to connect and satisfy.

With 10 sections came 10 scene changes and the stagehands played an enormous if rather odd role in the play by providing the only true chemistry.

The Blue Room does have some assets to recommend it. It is very funny in not-so-private parts and upon reflection, there may be even more flesh to this play than immediately meets the wide eye and gaping jaw.

But on a more important note, should someone not tell dippy Ashley his beloved Maxine is alive and well in Cardiff?

Reviewed by: Western Mail

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