Writer: Brian Marchbank
Director: Alyx Tole
Reviewer: Tracey Lowe
It seems sex tapes are de rigueur at the moment. With people like Kim Kardashian leaping to fame, despite having no real talent to speak of, it seems like it’s a quick way to gain popularity and notoriety. A more unwelcome sex tape is at the centre of ‘A Steamy Affair’. While Carol is in hospital, her niece Kate sells a seemingly innocent DVD on steam trains, not knowing that its contents are a little risqué. The DVD actually contains a highlights reel of the sexual endeavours between Carol and her late husband, Rob. Carol immediately realises what has happened, but when a young attractive man, Sam, turns up at her house to return the DVD, things take a positive turn for Carol. She and Sam embark on a sexual charged relationship, leaving Kate to continue to be frumpy and frustrated.
‘A Steamy Affair’ is a quite light-hearted romp, but touches on some sensitive subjects, such as parental abandonment and domestic violence. The two leading ladies of the piece are outstanding. Lucy Faint is tremendous as the strong-willed, but ultimately vulnerable nerd Kate. She has a real gift for delivering a sarcastic putdown. Jane Allighan is positively fearless as Carol, throwing her whole body into the performance. Nathan Morris may be the eye candy of the piece, as sexual plaything Sam, but holds his own quite well against these two talented ladies.
While the script had some very funny moments, it was by no means perfect. It took a while before the piece gained momentum, and while the end scene was hilarious, it didn’t really offer a satisfying conclusion. But Brian Marchbank should be commended for creating an original, clever piece of theatre.