By Lauren Bowles and James Miller
Fourplay, Unity Theatre, Liverpool, 22-23 July 2017
Spiders are scary. Terrorist are scary. Cancer is REALLY scary. Monogamy?
Totalling just 4 characters throughout the play, it focuses on just 2 couples – Rafe and Pete who are in a 7 year (well 7 and a half year) monogamous relationship, and Michael and Andrew who portray an open relationship.
The play tackles the different approaches to open and closed relationships, and how each couple deal with trust.
The 4 friends have known each other for a while when Pete and Rafe’s relationship hits a bump in the road. An unusual idea pops up for them to salvage the relationship from its lull, which involves Michael, and his open relationship status in which they would both sleep with him separately.
As the character’s relationships start to unfold, the humorous way issues are tackled make it comfortable for those who may be unfamiliar with either type of relationship. With hilarious glances, fumbles and double entendres the audience was laughing along. These included a lot of middle/working class jokes that worked extremely well for the Liverpool Theatre, and of course the fantastic description of someone they would trust ‘Not someone they would bump into in Sainsbury’s or catch HIV from’
As is expected this plan does backfire, opening a can of worms in both relationships, far from the outcome they expected.
Andrew (Stuart Crowther) really portrays his part well, with the amusement of Michael’s (Eddie Fortune) decision to accept the offer, but this slowly turns into serious self-doubt and increasingly clingy voicemails, ending in a huge blowout around the kitchen table, that let’s be honest, tugged on our heart strings just a little. Then there are Rafe (Callum Farrell) and Pete (Ryan Cretney) who have decided not to talk about each other’s rendezvous, but audiences can see the quick fix instead brings them further apart, their portrayal reveals a lot about the characters, which drew the audience in and really made them understand their struggles as a couple. The result instead is that Michael and Pete are pushed together in a rather saucy engagement that had the audience blushing.
Coming to a rather touching end, we learn that, it isn’t about the relationship you have but the trust between 2 people that really make the relationship work.
The play was well written, well performed and with enough injections of comedy that everyone had something to laugh about, but then again, the innuendo filled title would probably give anyone a clue to that. The plays serious moments were a stark contrast to the great humour, yet they perfectly fit together, making Four Play spark of genius.
Callum Farrell – Rafe
Eddie Fortune – Michael
Ryan Cretney – Pete
Stuart Crowther – Andrew
Josephine Sherlock – Director
By – Jake Brunger
Interview with Eddie Fortune (Actor/Producer)
We had the pleasure of interviewing Eddie Fortune before the play to ask a few questions and to find out what to expect.
Do you think the theme of monogamy is particularly relevant for today’s gay couples?
“About both open and closed relationships and which one works better. But both are celebrated in this play. It’s relevant as it seems that the grass is always greener, for gays in particular”
Can you relate to the plays theme at all?
“When I read the script I thought – it’s me and my friends! The play is just four gay guys with normal issues”
Is the focus on sexual aspects of gay relationships?
“Focussed on what happens in their living rooms and their approach to problems. There are suggestive moments”
How are the cast finding the roles?
“There’re 3 gay actors and 1 straight. The straight actor is doing well as a gay– he gets bummed a bit in the play”