Afterglow @ Southwark Playhouse*

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Tickets and more information: https://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show/afterglow/
Booking until: 20th July 2019
Production Photos by: Darren Bell
Run time: 1hr 30mins.
Trigger warnings: flashing lights, nudity.

Already an acclaimed Off-Broadway hit, S. Asher Gelman’s debut play has made it’s UK premiere at the Southwark Playhouse. Afterglow is an intimate and naked (in every sense) play that follows married couple Josh and Alex, who are in an open relationship. One night they invite a young man Darius to share their bed for the night when a new intimate connection begins to form between Darius and Josh. The play explores how all three men deal with this in their own way.

AFTERGLOW 4 Sean Hart Danny Mahoney photo Darren Bell

Thankfully, all three actors have incredible chemistry together otherwise the play would not work at all. Danny Mahoney gives a nuanced performance as Alex and Jesse Fox is wonderful as Darius as is Sean Hart as Josh. What I found interesting in Gelman’s writing was that it frequently mirrors how alike they are despite the 10 year age gap between the couple and Darius. However, I do wish there was more expansion on the characters themselves. This could’ve really helped the audience root for the characters rather than just have them constantly naked in some scenes. We get it, they’re shagging each other a lot.

A few clunky set changes and headache inducing flashing lights and music aside, this isn’t a bad piece. If anything, it’s a bit like a long winded essay trying to reach the word count (or in some cases, some reviews on this site). That said it’s a quick 90 minutes and delivers some fantastic performances, but it’s not something I’d see again.

Until next time,

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