Edinburgh Fringe 2013
A comedy play from Keely Winstone and directed by Hannah Eidinow that’s all about the people next door (and what they’re getting up to, down there). A bit on the sitcom side, there are chuckles to be had in this four-hander, for sure.
Sex Lives of Others concerns itself with Hillary and James (Joanna Bending and Martin Miller), and Sonny and Kerry (Matt Green and Jessica Baglow), neighbours of two different generations. Hillary and James are languishing a bit, a middle-aged couple with kids, and Kerry and Sonny have just moved in together next door. As you might imagine the two youngsters get up to quite a bit; it’s their honeymoon phase and Hillary and James have been hearing quite a bit of evidence. The amorous sounds have been floating across the yard and got Hillary’s imagination running wild, but you can’t necessarily trust what you hear. This is a play that peeks beneath the neighbours’ covers and shows us that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.
Unashamed and willing to get down and dirty, Typer Productions’ new piece is a bit of fluff that has multi-generational appeal. Not a lot of plot here, but there doesn’t really need to be. This is a slice of life, a kitchen sink drama with swear words and S&M gear. A compact little play, which offers a glimpse of what parents get up to whilst the kids are away that would be sure to give tweens headed for a weekend away nightmares if they could only get past the age rating. Less social commentary and more humorous diversion, Sex Lives of Others gives us characters we can see ourselves in. Ultimately hopeful, this show takes the piss out of us all, young and old.
With unremarkable tech and design, and decent writing that’s only occasionally creaky, the real stars here are the performers themselves. Their delivery of Winstone’s dialogue is snappy and relatable. Summoning the ridiculous from the sexy, they embody the characters perfectly. And while some of the lines feel ‘too witty’ for an afternoon at home, Winstone does paint a picture of the humdrum that’s accurate and recognisable. Performed in a shoebox (the sightlines in Pleasance’s This leave a lot to be desired), Sex Lives of Others is a fun, low maintenance comedy for the would-be nympho in all of us.