Review: Sexy Laundry

3 star rating
A rom com, with a realistic situation though dated sitcom feel, lacks unique revelations or insights yet ticks along in an agreeably entertaining, if unexceptional way.
Sexy Laundry at the Tabard Theatre

Image courtesy Tabard Theatre



Closes here: Sunday 25 November 2018

Author:
Michele Riml

Director:
Phoebe Barran

Cast:

Felicity Duncan - Alice

Nick Raggett - Henry


Synopsis


The Tabard Theatre presents the UK Premiere of Sexy Laundry, the hit show about an ordinary couple with a less-than-ordinary overnight bag!


Checking into a trendy spa hotel, Alice and Henry are on a mission; to jump start their twenty five year marriage.


Time has taken its toll - so have kids, stress and gravity.


Hoping to rekindle their flagging sex life, Alice and Henry stumble through their fantasies, finding that flaming the fires of passion is not as simple as making a hotel reservation.


Can they embrace all the wild suggestions from their marriage-saving quick start guide?


What develops is a laugh-out-loud romantic comedy as the couple discover themselves and their marriage all over again.


Background


Sexy Laundry by Michele Riml was first seen in 2002 in Vancouver and has gone on to be a smash hit show with multiple runs in the US, Canada and across Europe.


This production marks its UK Premiere and is directed by Phoebe Barran who also directed Tryst at the Tabard Theatre last year.


Playing for a limited four week run, come and see Alice and Henry outdo themselves in this poignant and hilarious look at the up and downs of love, marriage and the bedroom.


ActDrop reviews


Peter Brown

Performance date: Tuesday 6 November 2018
Review star rating image for 3 stars

A long-term marriage gets put under the microscope in this UK premiere of Michele Riml's romantic comedy.


In fact, rom com might not be the most apt description for a play about a relationship which seems rather devoid of romance, at least as far as the set-up is concerned.


Felicity Duncan's Alice and Nick Raggett's Henry have been married for 25 years - a period of time which sounds even longer when you say 'a quarter of a century'.


The once roaring flame of romantic passion has dimmed rather over the time these two have been together, so it's now merely a pile of dull, unnoticed embers.


In fact, like most couples who think they know each other inside out, the mere act of being together, raising kids and living through the daily grind of routine means they hardly ever discuss their love life - or do much about it.

Cast of Sexy Laundry at the Tabard Theatre

Felicity Duncan (left) and Nick Raggett - photo by Andreas Grieger


Alice, however, has come to the realisation that it's time to act and has booked a palatial room in a swanky hotel where even the 'turn-down' service comes with a hefty charge.


Her aim is to see if there's anything left between her and her rather ordinary engineer hubby, Henry, who seems more interested in the quality of the hotel towels than in being transported to the wild delights of romantic engagement.


The only problem is that Alice hasn't explained her intentions to Henry, so there's some explanatory work to get through at the start of the play.


Prompted by suggestions from a book on sex that Alice has obtained, the couple embark on some experimentation involving fantasies, massage and the like in order to rekindle some kind of spark.


First staged in Vancouver in 2002, Michele Riml's play hovers on the borders of a bedroom farce, but has the latent quality of contrivance (signposted even in the title) that is often the hallmark of a sitcom.


It feels conceptually dated, even if there are regular humorous moments along the way - though big laughs are sparse.


That said, the comic ideas actually get better towards the end where the play takes a more inventive turn.


Anna Bliss Scully's design amply suggest the sort of expensively trendy hotel where this kind of encounter might take place.


Nick Raggett and Felicity Duncan offer recognisable and engaging characters that might easily be found in many parts of comfortably-off middle England.


Ms Duncan is the determined instigator whose mind has been working overtime in analysing her marriage and finds it wanting.


Nick Raggett's cost-conscious, staid and apparently unromantic Henry might be a little too obviously run-of-the-mill and too easily distracted, even if he shows later on that his spouse has been misreading him.


Sexy Laundry undoubtedly points-up a realistic situation - even if it never offers unique revelations or insights - and there are enough humorous moments to keep it ticking along in an agreeably entertaining, if unexceptional way.


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