Mating In Captivity – Kings Head Theatre, London

Reviewer: Sonny Waheed

Writer: Oliver Page

Director: Zachary Hart

Annie (Jane Christie) and Rob (Rowland Stirling) return home happy, tipsy, and very amorous, from their engagement party, only to find a naked man in their bed. But Jacob (Adam Colborne) isn’t just any old naked man, he is Rob’s ex!

And so starts Oliver Page’s comedic take on 21st century sexuality and relationships that turns a night of partying into a night of anxiety and revelations. Mating in Captivity is played pitch-perfect by its three cast members, with each delivering authentic and nuanced performances. Rob’s amiable but anxiety-ridden personality sits perfectly at the heart of this triangle between his forthright, and mildly dominating, fiancée, and Jacob’s playful confusion at what’s unfolding.

The mix of situational confusion, revelation, and sexual tension is ripe for comedy. Page’s script delivers laughs in abundance. The script is anchored in the witty, and at times crude, verbal exchanges, and effectively navigates the chaos of the evening. It crams in a lot of narrative and humour into a short running time, but without the feeling of anything being rushed or overlooked.

Hart’s light-touch direction is the perfect vehicle and gives the actors the space needed to really have fun with their roles and the script, whilst deftly ensuring that physical comedy pops up to add another dimension to the proceedings.

It’s rare that a production leaves you gagging for more, but Mating does. And, not just because of its short running time of 60 minutes or its ambiguous ending, but because you feel engaged with the characters and their situation. Let’s hope Page can be tempted in writing a Part 2.

Runs until 7 August 2021

The Reviews Hub Score

Saucily funny

The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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