Thomas W. Hodgkinson


By Kenny Emson
Bush, London

Kenny Emson’s compelling two-hander is like an English middle-class version of Last Tango in Paris. There’s less butter, but more believability. In this case, it’s the woman who instigates the shag-pad arrangement and lays down the rules. Nadia and Daniel (Claire Lams and Jon Foster, both excellent) only meet on Mondays, at the tiny studio flat she has rented in Shepherd’s Bush, west London. Neither may mention love. Or their spouse. Or their children. The stage is set for the full tragedy of extramarital passion, but we never get the fireworks. “Men like to shout,” they agree in a moment that elicits murmurs of recognition from the audience in the fittingly small Studio at the Bush. Yet not much shouting happens here, and not much sex, for that matter — at least compared with Last Tango. As consolation, the couple we meet are far more normal, and their intimate, intricate dialogue is wholly convincing. Our sadness as the relationship rusts is one we’ve all felt in love affairs, whether illicit or not.