Threesome review

Threesome was a wonderful piece of new, comic writing from Jamie Patterson. It was a multi-media play which told the story of a young couple who, seeking to rekindle their marriage, found a young girl to have a threesome with. The play was hilarious, awkward at all the right moments and generally really great fun.

The show begins with a short film projected onto a small screen upstage. In this film the audience see Sam (Chris Willoughby) and Kate (Gemma Rook) scouting a bar, looking for a partner for the night. At first, it is not apparent that they are looking to both share the bed with the chosen girl (Lucy, played by April Pearson), and this becomes clear in the first of many awkward – but brilliant – discussions about sex that take place during the night. The characters each represent a different type: Sam feigns confidence at having a threesome and sleeping with a women that is not his wife, Kate is thoroughly repressed and uncomfortable with sex and Lucy is blunt and unforgiving when recounting her wild sexual past. Seeing them together proves to be hilarious, and it is a credit to Jamie Patterson’s witty writing and neat direction that these characters interact so seamlessly.

Once the film is over, the actors all arrive on stage as if they have just arrived at Lucy’s flat. From here, the projector and film equipment are cleaned up and used within the dialogue to reinforce the character types: Lucy takes the lead, Sam awkwardly does the wrong thing and Kate stands alone looking generally uncomfortable. It’s a really nice touch which is very cleverly written into the script and makes the transition from one media form to the other feel natural and effortless.

From here the play really begins to find its feet. The dialogue covers a whole range of topics: it moves between discussions about chocolate bars and condoms to a game of truth or dare and all the way through to the final conversation about whether a threesome is really what Kate and Sam want. It’s fast paced, very entertaining, packed with innuendo, one liners and wit, while still managing to make time for some serious moments. The rise and fall of the comedy is a structural achievement that is worth recognising: the highs and lows of the trio’s night together feel authentic, and actor’s comic timing contributes massively to this.

Overall, the acting was of a high standard: April Pearson led the show with a flawless performance as Lucy, Chris Willoughby’s comic timing was masterful and there was something about Gemma Rook’s repressed wife that just worked. Together, they ensured that the show was funny, entertaining and felt authentic.

The only disappointment of the show was the ending, although even here there was a moment that was truly brilliant. Sam and Kate choose to leave Lucy’s flat before anything more can happen between them and this the disappointing part because it felt rushed and clichéd. However, it made room for the beautiful irony of Lucy – the girl who had all these wild sex stories – ending up totally alone in her flat, never having the threesome she was promised. It was amusing, and gave the final moments a little ironic boost to keep the flow going.

Threesome was a really entertaining debut from Jamie Patterson. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who was up for a laugh, or wanted to see a show about sex – because, ultimately, that’s what Threesome was! Sadly, Threesome’s run at the Edinburgh Fringe has ended, but keep an eye on Jamie Patterson’s twitter to stay updated about Threesome and his other works!

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Joanna Ellis

Joanna Ellis

I’m currently studying Digital Film and Television at the Royal Conservatoire and look to move to London in future to further pursue a career in film production. Young Perspective was a perfect match for my ambitions – writing for this magazine is an opportunity I am greatly appreciating. My interest in television and theatre has been with me since before I can remember, and my love for film came hand in hand with a growing admiration for photography and understanding of my own career goals.
Joanna Ellis

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