venue: UPSTAIRS IN ASSEMBLY ROXY – EDINBURGH (CENTRAL STANDARD THEATRE KANSAS)
ticket price £12
Somebody has seen Eyes Wide Shut. In fact we even have ‘eyes closed open’ as a repeated line. The staging is minimalist and all is white, perhaps for purity, certainly not for innocence. The flyer draws out the line ‘I can feel every moment of you’ and the appeal of the play depends entirely on whether you find this poetic or insufferable.
There are two characters, neither especially likeable. The woman needs reassurance, the man is frightened of giving it. They alternate internal monologues, their thoughts during sex or in the semi-dreamlike state immediately afterwards, connected by short bursts of conversations as they return to their bodies. They make love, frequently, without actually touching, cavorting in dances around each other or sign and response from opposites sides of the stage. As a play it’s a nice conceit but it’s too affected and self-aware without falling over into pretension.
There is something likeable about the performers, though. Amy Kelly sways and slides with appropriate levels of abandon or uncertainty. Jordan Fox, is torn, evasive and conflicted. They do have some poetic turns of phrase to deliver but too many of these are during a rapid-fire scene where they are talking over each other and are easily lost.