‘Afterglow’ at the Southwark Playhouse: The nudity is not worth it

'Afterglow' at the Southwark Playhouse: The nudity is not worth it image 0 Info

Afterglow plainly markets itself to the voyeur, yet has all the deepness of a Saharan paddling swimming pool.


” Afterglow”



Starring Jesse Fox, Sean Hart as well as Danny Mahoney

For a play completely called Afterglow, possibly a more apropos name would be Aftertaste, as I spent a lot of the 82-minute efficiency searching for myself woefully disengaged and also longing for the whole thing to end. Despite the provocative facility as well as the guarantee of complete frontal male nudity (always a draw), Afterglow is about as interesting as throwing damp paper towels versus a shower room wall surface, as well as the performances over a comparable quantity of psychological deepness.


Afterglow worries the lives of married couple Josh (Sean Hart)– a theater director– and also Alex (Danny Mahoney)– a researcher– complying with a threesome with Darius (Jesse Fox), a specialist masseuse. The cosy family life of the married couple, who are quickly to invite a youngster using surrogate, is shaken off kilter by Josh and also Darius developing a much more significant link away from Alex.

It’s an interesting adequate property, however it discovers itself ending up being entirely foreseeable. Regardless of the bright title, the play rumbles along with a depressing feeling of certainty. You can inform as quickly as Josh and also Darius arrange to assemble away from Alex that the partnership is mosting likely to cross the boundary as well as become something greater than the couple are equipped to take care of, which will inevitably mean their failure. The sympathy of the audience, as a result, is overwhelmingly shed within mins, as the play distributes every one of its cards and offers valuable little spin as we meander from A to B.

Even with the lure of nude guys on phase, which is constantly a benefit, the play falls into the catch of using regular suitables of male elegance and standards that are enforced upon gay guys. It therefore causes their nakedness ending up being virtually numbing as well as dull, as you become worn down from their perfect physiques after a matter of minutes. The naked scenes as a result come to be much less exciting as they are contrived, and also an on-stage shower isn’t sufficient to infuse some interest right into psychologically flaccid sections.

The production is also awkwardly punctuated by painful scene changes, in which pulsing club music comes with actors shiftily moving established pieces around in some type of real-life tetris, making the audience seem like they’ve involved enjoy their pals relocate into a flat, in contrast to being captivated.

It is an embarassment that such a groundbreaking Off-Broadway production has had such a not successful English version, as well as I am unsure totally who is at fault for that. Probably it is the instructions of Tom O’Brien (the American production was routed by the author, S. Asher Gelman), or perhaps it is the slightly weak performances given by the lead stars. While I really felt that the discussion and also text was fairly well-written, provocative and also sensible, it was pull down by the one-dimensional delivery of the stars. In one certain section in which Darius needed to muster up a semblance of feeling, I rolled my eyes so hard I had to examine that they had not been audible in their disapproval. Both Darius as well as Josh were so unlikable by the end, as a matter of fact, that I found myself not caring about their personalities in all when we reached the climax.

As I say, it’s a shame. It’s such a benefit that such plays exist now where the tale is no longer concerning characters being gay, however more moving beyond that right into even more interesting price. I would have liked that polyamory been treated in a much more favorable and also communicative method, rather than apparently such an alarming caution. I seem like the message doesn’t even treat it as a major choice and rather obliterates the entire idea of it. The play had a great deal to say upon the nature of on-line dating and also just how the arrival of the alarming schedule of sex substantially affecting relationships and also their principles. While it does not get to a strong final thought, it’s fair to say that the play errs on the side of “even if you can, doesn’t imply that you ought to”– a virtually cautionary caution that self control ought to still be provided, even within the sex-positive globe of gay culture nowadays. It is this kind of ahead believing that makes me virtually go across that the production came under the trap of casting stereotypically stunning men.

While a potentially provocative and engaging piece upon modern-day relationships, this manufacturing was let down by implausible performances and also laboured scene shifts. Maybe if the spreading supervisors had actually chosen to make their decisions based upon the ability to emote and produce nuanced personalities, instead of concentrating upon just how “excellent” (simply put, plastic) they looked naked, the production would have reverberated much better with the not impressed target market at the Southwark Play house.

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