This skilfully nuanced piece of theatre which looks at various stages of relationships between different pairs of males exploring and confronting their sexuality. Performed by Nicholas Campbell and Oskar Brown- who also wrote the work- and directed by Geoffrey Hyland it is an intriguing work which although focussing on the homosexual aspect of relationships confronts issues which are universal such as the dying of the initial spark in long-term relationships or a fervent and feverish curiosity during teenage years.
Opening with a break up situation between a couple who have obviously just ended their relationship and are seeking solace in Shakespeare’s sonnets there is a swift shift into the personas of two teenagers horsing around at the swimming pool showing a fascination with each others genitalia-both actors frequently bare themselves quite literally- before even understanding their own. Eventually this interest develops into something more on a discovery which involves looking at porn and relieving-both orally and manually- of each other. This situation doesn’t end well for one of the pair as the other turns on him and eventually discards him in denial of his own part in what has occurred.
Another story- the actors dip in and out of different characters and situations almost at random- running parallel to this is the break up of a long term couple who have settled into a complacent relationship where one has lost his original lustful intentions whilst the other feels rejected and convinced simply that he is no longer loved. There is a third couple-lecturer and student- who have feelings of unspoken love for each other and try to communicate their feelings through literary means in the hope of breaking down the barrier which is keeping them apart.
‘Between’ is a touching and well thought out piece of drama which although most likely to appeal to a gay audience-which in reality does not get as strong a representation at the Fringe as it could- is not wholly exclusive to them and should appeal to anyone whatever their sexual orientation. Great and heartfelt performances-not to mention a frequent display of naked flesh- make this show a worthwhile addition to this years Fringe experience.
Between is at The Space UK at Surgeons Hall at 2pm until August 17th