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Adam seems like a decent enough chap when he picks up Grace after a night’s clubbing. She seems up for it - he certainly is - and in a series of sharp, abruptly blacked-out non-linear scenes they make the long journey back to her flat on the night bus – stopping off on the way for a grope in the park and a kebab. They’ve got little in common, even less to say to each other. It’s a meeting with only one purpose, but blonde, brassy, micro-skirted Grace grows progressively more insecure the closer they get to her bedroom.

Russell Tovey’s Adam, (currently in sales but with web site aspirations) knows exactly what he’s after – and when we then see his live-in partner Ruth ironing his shirt and preparing his supper before he heads out “with the lads”  it becomes clear just how calculated his behaviour is.

Stefan Golaszewski’s deft three-hander paints an increasingly cynical picture of male behaviour, capturing the vulnerability and hurt of both Jaime Winstone’s Grace (who has unrevealed secrets of her own) and, especially, Naomi Sheldon’s sad, suspicious Ruth, kind, compliant and emotionally powerless to avert an act of betrayal in Phillip Breen’s austere, effective production.

Trafalgar Studios, 2 Whitehall, SW1A 2DY
Tube: Charing Cross
until 25th Feb

- Louise Kingsley


Sex With a Stranger, Trafalgar Studios - theatre review
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