Theatre Review: Mydidae @ Soho Theatre Upstairs

Jack Thorne’s new play Mydidae is set entirely in a bathroom! By seeing how the relationship of couple Marian and David plays out in this space over a single day, we learn much about what binds them together and tears them apart.

As the day unfolds, a seemingly normal relationship, with moments of tension but also lots of love, is revealed to be  far more complex as a (metaphorical) ghost is raised and a singularly brutal act performed.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Keir Charles play the two protagonists with measured, yet effective, mannerisms, and both demonstrate an ability to portray changes in mood with subtle alterations in expression and gesture. The lines are also skilful, piling on emotion by appealing to the slightly roundabout way in which people really do talk. There are undoubtedly moments of immense power, and the nudity there is feels very unsexy, adding weight to the feeling that we are simply seeing two ordinary people interacting naturally.    

It is questionable, however, how much this play really needed to be staged in a bathroom (with genuine running taps) as opposed to any other room. As written, some moments clearly demand it, but the acts of shaving and peeing feel more like gimmicks than integral ways of revealing intimacy. In addition, whether the intention was to show the characters undergo a transformation or simply come full circle, their journey through the play as we witness it does not feel particularly satisfying. Despite the strong performances, perhaps there just isn’t enough to care about in these people.   

Until 22 December 2012 at the Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, W1D 3NE with start times of 15.30 and 19.30. Tickets (£15 / £12.50): 020 7478 0100 or click here.

Photo: Phobe Waller-Bridge and Keir Charles star in Jack Thorne’s Mydidae, © Richard Lakos.

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