Review: Affair Play (4 stars)

Can cheating ever be fair? If so, when? If when, how? From what angle? And on what planet?

 These are the questions poised to audience members watching Affair Play. The Freshly Ground Theatre production is about four people, two couples and one awkward dinner party. It is a humorous glimpse inside the world of infidelity as the men swap partners for a night (or maybe more?) As writer Sam Floyd describes, “You discover immediately that one affair is already on the boil. Another is on the brew.” Floyd stars alongside Remy Coll, Anthea Greco and Lucy Norton in Affair Play.

Audiences will immediately notice the interesting brown paper backdrop and props that constitute a living area and kitchen. Brown paper chairs, fridge, oven and front door are included. Once Greco and Floyd knock on Coll and Norton’s door, the reason behind the play’s name becomes apparent. Coll and Greco have an intimate moment, unbeknownst to their spouses in the other room.

What follows is a burnt casserole and some tense scenes as each character’s life is examined around the kitchen bench. Couples turn on each other and into another’s embrace before the ultimate climax. Although there were many serious moments, these were expertly interspersed and sprinkled with witty and humorous comments. This balance is what gives Affair Play its edge and individuality.

Floyd says the show is a “disastrously perfect mess of impulses,” which is a fairly accurate description. In movies based on similar situations, it is easy to choose your favourite characters from the victims and villains. But in the play, there is technically no one “in the right.” This interesting and honest take is what makes Affair Play the right show to see this week in Melbourne.

Affair Play is on at the Mechanic’s Institute Brunswick from 9th – 19th December 2015.

Tickets available: