Coming Clean at Trafalgar Studios
Tony and Greg are celebrating their fifth anniversary as a couple. One of the reasons behind their romantic success is the fact that they are each permitted to have sex with other men, although never more than once with the same guy. When cleaner Robert enters their world, the rules are jeopardised and the underlying fragility of their bond is ultimately exposed.
First performed in 1982 ahead of the Aids crisis, this much-loved play does occasionally show its age; however, Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher and his cast clearly believe in the story and its themes and invest themselves fully, providing a heartfelt and often hilarious revival.
The acting from all concerned is sublime. Lee Knight delivers a compelling performance, his chemistry with Greg, played wonderfully by Stanton Plummer-Cambridge, enticingly believable. The actor ensures Tony adapts accordingly depending on who he is with in any given scene, making for a compelling portrayal of this conflicted character. Some of the dialogue is undoubtedly dated; however, the actors manage to make it work for the most part.
Elliott Hadley as neighbour William evokes many laugh-out-loud moments, his comic timing wonderfully executed. It’s a strong and assured performance that elevates each scene the actor is in. Jonah Rzeskiewicz makes his professional London debut as Robert and is perfectly cast. It’s a carefully considered, understated and nuanced performance that captures our attention throughout. This is certainly an actor to watch out for.
Spreadbury-Maher ensures the play flows at a healthy pace, successfully balancing the comedy with the more poignant aspects. Nic Farman effectively establishes the changing moods with his impressive lighting design and Amanda Mascarenhas has created a remarkably detailed Kentish Town flat with the intimacy of the small studio space enhancing the fly-on-the-wall feeling we have as an audience.
Real, raw and relatable despite the many cultural changes that have occurred since its premier, Coming Clean is thought-provoking and highly entertaining in equal measure.
Photos: Ali Wright
Coming Clean is at Trafalgar Studios from 8th January until 1st February 2020. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.