first time in three years in Sex With A Stranger, written for him by his Him & Her screenwriter Stefan Golaszewski. In fact it's probably fair to say Russell Tovey is the dictionary definition of a Big Favourite Round These Parts so if you were expecting a particularly insightful review you may want to lower those expectations now, and just settle for an endless stream of Too Much Information. Frankly, any section of this review that doesn't just consist of the word "nipples" should be treated as a bonus. We were front row centre in Trafalgar Studio 2 so this was basically porn to me, and that's just the bits where he kept his kit on.
Golaszewski's previous stage plays, a pair of monologues he performed himself in a double bill, got a genuinely mixed reaction from me: I was charmed by the first, put off by the second. So as far as the play itself went, I came to this not knowing what to expect. Here he turns his attention to relationships again, and the particular microcosm of long-term relationships that typifies his sitcom. Although in this case it's a relationship that one person seems to be into more than the other. The play's format is very short (sometimes just a few seconds) scenes played out of order. There's a lot of jumping around in time, occasionally quite far into the past and future, but mainly focusing on two chunks of time in the same 24 hours: The titular event of Adam (Tovey) chatting up Grace (Jaime Winstone) in a club and going home with her for sex; and then the day leading up to it, as we see Adam prepare for his night out in the comfortable boredom of his relationship with Ruth (Naomi Sheldon,) the partner he lives with and presumably hasn't told Grace about.
Ahem. Back in something tenuously connected to sanity, this is a funny, very dark comedy that confirmed to me that being terminally single isn't quite as bad as the alternative.
Sex With A Stranger by Stefan Golaszewski is booking until the 25th of February at Trafalgar Studio 2.
Running time: 1 hour 20 minutes straight through.