Warning your ‘plus one’ that you are taking them to see a sex play, to reassure that you are not trying to seduce them, is not the most wholesome or auspicious start to an evening. Then again, London is not Amsterdam and your chances are seeing anything truly appalling are sadly very small.

So it was that Polaris and I stepped out for a night on the fringe. This production caught my eye while skimming a list of West End shows – extended to full length (oo-er missus) from a Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe short play. I have sorely missed attending the Edinburgh Fringe for the last few years and felt a hankering for the intimacy that small theatres provide.

Threesome chronicles the night that a frustrated married couple (Sam and Kate), in a rut after 20 years of marriage, seek out a third party to spice up their love life. They find it remarkably easy to find a willing and attractive participant (Lucy), who seems to have unhelpfully confused sexual confidence with promiscuity. They end up exploring themes of liberation, female satisfaction, and (as if the idea was not stalking me) a nostalgia for the abandon of youth.

Although I wouldn’t recommend taking your parents, the graphic dialogue and farcical sexual content did not create an atmosphere of awkwardness (at least no more than intended). The piece is played for laughs, and despite all the dirty talk and latex, is endearing rather than sexy, much like Sam’s dad-dancing striptease. Any clothing which is removed is hastily put back on. There were a few interesting reflections via the third wheel as therapist, but I am perhaps not best qualified to comment on the experiences of long-term married couples.

Much like the characters themselves, by the end I was satisfied and glad I had made the effort to out for the night.

This does not serve as a great recommendation, however, as the run was only a week long and has already finished. However, I still wanted to write a ringing endorsement of small venue events in London.

  1. They’re cheap – the level of enjoyment you need to derive from your standard £70 West End show creates a lot of stress, in my experience. How good does a show need to be to justify that kind of eye-watering expense? Small theatre and dance productions are often less than £20 and I have never seen anything that I didn’t consider good value for money.
  2. Small venues mean you are usually guaranteed a great seat (at no extra cost).
  3. There’s lot of “proper acting” and comedy and movement, unencumbered by huge sets and overbearing scores.

I also noted that the patrons were mostly in their 30s and above, with a lot of groups of friends, in a convivial and open-minded atmosphere. It occurred to me these places might make good hunting ground for potential dates…

Is that a bad thought when you’re hanging around with your not-one-thing-or-the-other-confusing-friend/ex? Given the theme of the evening, I think it’s fair game.

She winks.

Blackout.