Three’s Company, Then A Crowd In New Play A Third
What happens when a couple decides to welcome a third, or even a fourth, into their sex lives? A Third, written by Laura Jacqmin and directed by Josh Roche, is a daring and refreshingly honest play that explores a modern relationship dynamic in flux.
Married couple Allison (Asha Reid) and Paul (Jeremy Legat) find Jay (Will Alexander) on Craig’s List, and decide to try a threesome — with some very clear ground rules laid down from the start. The play charts the intrigue and the complications that spring from moving from monogamous to ‘monogam-ish’, especially when the ground rules get broken. The introduction of Mariella (Lucy Roslyn) turns the ménage-à-trois into a bizarre ménage-à-quatre, with some tricky consequences.
The setting is fantastic; the audience sit around the edges of a sophisticated American apartment, just a bit too close for comfort and made to feel like voyeurs in a play that is all about the line between watching and taking part. The subject matter is an interesting one, but as it's not just the main but only plot thread of the play, the sex dynamic does wear thin in parts and attention can lag.
The dialogue is fast-paced and witty, though the play touches on interesting issues that are, sadly, never really explored. Questions about gender, sexuality and public stigma — or lack thereof — surrounding polyamory are left unprobed, putting a lot of pressure on the four-way relationship to hold attention for the duration of the play.
The cast should be commended for their highly realistic performances however, with Reid and Legat standing out especially. They deftly manoeuvre through their roles as a loving couple risking their relationship in an attempt to keep things fresh.
A Third runs at the Finborough Theatre on Sunday and Monday evenings, and Tuesday afternoons until 20 July. Tickets £18/£16. Londonist saw this show on a complimentary ticket.
Last Updated 09 October 2015