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A smart comedy that explores friendship and sexuality
The Bush Theatre's newest theatrical venture, DC Moore's new comedy Straight, is as thought-provoking as it is hilarious. The play tells the story of a straight-laced, married young man named Lewis deciding to explore another side of himself after being reunited with his free-spirited best friend Waldorf.
Can porn be art? Can two straight men have sex without being gay? When a drunken night out leads to booking a hotel room, Lewis and Waldorf are challenged with these questions and soberly decide to move forward with the plan to explore a new side to their relationship.
Directed by Richard Wilson, Straight is delightfully entertaining, and watching Lewis and Waldorf test the bounds of their friendship makes for hilariously awkward moments that also delve deeper into more important questions of sexuality, love, and marriage. The actors, including Henry Pettigrew as Lewis, Philip McGinley as Waldorf, Jessica Ransom as Lewis' wife Morgan, and Jenny Rainsom as porn veteran Steph, are all impressively polished in roles that demand impeccable comedic timing as well as moments of seriousness and sincerity.
Set design by James Cotterill is especially noteworthy in this production, with a stunning attention to detail creating some of the most realistic scenery imaginable. The first act studio apartment setting is believable down to the last detail, from the half-used bottle of dishwashing soap next to the sink to the shelves of books and framed photographs over the couple's bed. The glitzy hotel suite in act two is similarly astonishing in its realism, with gold-plated electrical outlets and a fully-stocked minibar.
The Bush Theatre's venue across from Shepherd's Bush Market is a new home for the theatre, which relocated from a smaller space in 2011. The theater is a perfect size for this intimate play, allowing every audience member to take in the subtleties of both the performances and the scenery. The play is entertaining at every turn, and despite a seemingly abrupt ending, is consistently captivating.
Straight is running until 22 December 2012, and tickets range from £10 concessions to £19.50 for standard seating, with certain performances offering cheaper seats. Visit the Bush Theatre's website here to find out more about the production and book seats.