First performed at The Traverse Theatre in August 2014, Unfaithful by Owen McCafferty is a brutally tender exploration of intimacy and the push pull desire to be free and owned at the same time. This is a play about sex and love and honesty and intimacy. In this new version, directed by Adam Penford at Found 111, it’s beautifully played and tensely compelling.
Tom (Sean Campion) tells Joan (Niamh Cusack) his wife of 30 years that he’s been unfaithful. She’s incendiary, and the revelation leads to consequences and conversations that whip back the safety blanket they’ve both been clinging to and stifled by.
Peter (Matthew Lewis) and Tara (Ruta Gedmintas) have a new set of rules to negotiate and it’s not really working out for them. Tara wants things to be normal and proper. Peter’s looking for something more. They too are trapped by emotion and convention, in spite of their desire to be something different.
So far, so normal, but Unfaithful is performed with an honesty that lifts it above the usual domestic ‘unbliss’ drama. McCafferty has a fierce point of view, and there’s an emotional articulacy and truth in Unfaithful that is undeniably moving. Campion and Cusack get the best of the lines and this is really their story. Events happen and the story does roll along but an extra plot kick is needed for Peter and Tara’s story to feel really integral to the play.
Adam Penford’s direction and Richard Kent’s set both add to the sense of isolation and intimacy.
Tom and Joan’s 30 year marriage seems strangely unfurnished – and maybe that’s the idea. That stripped down, these relationships alone aren’t enough. It’s the texture and detail that gives life colour. Peter and Tara’s relationship is far more sketchy and already damaged by doubts.
At 70 minutes straight through, this is a funny, dark, truthful play that highlights how sometimes we spend our lives carefully constructing a cage, only to claw at the doors or dream endlessly of escape.
Review by Roz Wyllie
Following the critically acclaimed, sold out productions of The Dazzle and Bug at Found111, Emily Dobbs Productions is thrilled to present the London premiere of Unfaithful, a blackly comic new play starring Sean Campion (The Borgias, Stones in his Pockets), Niamh Cusack (Heartbeat, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time), Ruta Gedmintas (The Strain, The Tudors) and Matthew Lewis (Harry Potter film series, The Syndicate).
Tom is enjoying a quiet pint after work. Tara lies awake whilst her boyfriend finishes his shift. When their paths cross, a spark is ignited that reveals the hidden truths of two tangled relationships; the unspoken desires, the piercing regrets, and the postponed conversations.
Sharply written by award-winning playwright Owen McCafferty (Scenes From The Big Picture, Shoot The Crow) Unfaithful questions what it means to be lovers, partners and people. Directed by Adam Penford (Watership Down, A Small Family Business).
PLEASE NOTE – All tickets will be ‘Collect from Box Office’ only. Tickets are Unreserved Seating.
Show Opened: 25th August 2016
Booking Until: 8th October 2016
Unfaithful at Found111
111 Charing Cross Rd, London, WC2H 0DT