Home / Drama / Sexy Laundry – Tabard Theatre, London

Sexy Laundry – Tabard Theatre, London

Writer: Michelle Riml

Director: Phoebe Barron

Reviewer: Scott Matthewman

The difficulties of maintaining a happy, sex-filled marriage into middle age and beyond is the nub of Canadian playwright Michelle Riml’s 2002 sweet-natured one-act comedy.

The Tabard Theatre’s production may have updated the play’s setting to a vision of contemporary Britain where gyms calling themselves Virgin Active and the thought of appearing on The Jeremy Kyle Show are sources of middle-class humour. But the sensibilities are quaintly, and not unamusingly, old-fashioned. This is an episode of Terry and June, if Alan Ayckbourn had dashed off a script for Terry Scott and June Whitfield in a spare hour.

Felicity Duncan’s Alice and Nick Raggett’s Henry are amiable enough in their way, although one senses that the writer is very much on Alice’s side in any of the couple’s numerous disagreements. Duncan is not blind to her character’s flaws, particularly her selfishness: she demands that her husband massage her to get them both in the mood, but balks at the thought of reciprocating.

Raggett, meanwhile, is lumbered with the archetypal middle-aged man, disinterested in his wife. He brings out a sweetness to the character: when called upon to imagine a fantasy, he eschews sexual thoughts and instead dreams of a day at the office without tensions and an evening with the family full of relaxation and laughter.

It is when the cracks in the marriage explode open that Phoebe Barran’s direction occasionally lets the side down. Every argument is expressed as a shouting match, leaving too little room for characterisation amongst the bulging forehead veins.

But amongst all the shouting one does get a sense of a couple with something worth saving. And while Sexy Laundry may not be the most sophisticated of bedroom farces, it does at least tap into a sense of romance and humour that is as truthful as it is inoffensive.

Continues until November 25 2018 | Image: Andreas Grieger
Writer: Michelle Riml Director: Phoebe Barron Reviewer: Scott Matthewman The difficulties of maintaining a happy, sex-filled marriage into middle age and beyond is the nub of Canadian playwright Michelle Riml’s 2002 sweet-natured one-act comedy. The Tabard Theatre’s production may have updated the play’s setting to a vision of contemporary Britain where gyms calling themselves Virgin Active and the thought of appearing on The Jeremy Kyle Show are sources of middle-class humour. But the sensibilities are quaintly, and not unamusingly, old-fashioned. This is an episode of Terry and June, if Alan Ayckbourn had dashed off a script for Terry Scott and…

Review Overview

The Reviews Hub Score

Inoffensively amusing

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The Reviews Hub London is under the editorship of John Roberts.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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