Soho Theatre Royal Court Theatre January 2020
Upstairs at the Soho Theatre, in Alexis Gregory's play Sex /Crime, is a man known only as A (Jonny Woo), offering to recreate for a fee one of three killings of gay men that took place in January 2020. And B (Alexis Gregory), who has climbed the many stairs to what he refers to as a loft, is keen to take up the offer.
But first A must talk through the safety issues, get B to sign a consent form and even then insist that while we are still in the EU, the regulations entitle him to a twenty minute break. All this is a bit wearing for B, who wants to get on with being killed.
The dialogue is fast, lyrical and peppered with humour. If the play initially looks like a glimpse at sadomasochism between two consenting gay men, it is quickly talking about other kinds of relationship.
However the laughter dries up as we guess the direction the play is moving, and although serious questions about sexuality and violence in an exploitative society are hinted at, the play's politics are peculiar with their suggestion we be sceptical about the claims of victims. Its dialogue, for all the smartness of comic lines, is repetitive and lacks shading. As for the sex, despite the sensational title, you are likely to get more of that in a random copy of the Daily Telegraph.
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Review - Sex/Crime - Soho Theatre 2020