Kissing Sid James at Jermyn Street Theatre
The revival of Robert Farquhar’s comedy Kissing Sid James at London’s Jermyn Street Theatre reunites actors Alan Drake and Charlotte McKinney after a sell out season in New York and in the Fringe at The New Red Lion last year.
With Farquhar’s strong, fast-paced script, both Drake and McKinney give solid performances, creating believable chemistry on stage as Eddie and Crystal, a pair of mismatched lovers attempting to find common ground during a weekend away together.
During this two-hander performance, both actors handled the script’s emotional roller-coaster ride with apparent ease, veering quickly from blazing rows to tender moments. With impeccable timing, the quick wit and comic interludes were punctured by heartbreaking, poignant moments while Eddie (nickname Sid) and Crystal (real name Babs, cue Carry On joke) attempted to navigate through their tumultuous relationship while sharing with each other their past romantic failings.
The direction by Jason Lawson was expertly executed by the cast, supported by Mike Lees’ set design and the incredibly effective sound design by Christopher Ash. The intimate theatre space was transformed through the cumulative use of sound and lighting, feeling deliberately claustrophobic during bedroom scenes, then changing quickly into a wind-swept beach promenade, train station and karaoke bar throughout the play.
Kissing Sid James offers an expertly staged evening of entertainment, combining comedy and heartache in an engaging “will they, won’t they” romance narrative. The production was seamless, but was made by the incredible performances of the two actors, both Drake and McKinney holding the play together with their natural and conversational style of delivery and obvious natural chemistry.
This will certainly be a theatre ticket in hot demand. With celebrity attendees such as Twiggy (seen at Wednesday night’s performance) and rave reviews from both sides, make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment in missing a truly outstanding and intimate production.
The editorial unit
Hillscape Productions presents Kissing Sid James, a comedy by Robert Farquhar, 3rd-29th September.
Additional details and booking information available here.