Trading Faces - REVIEW

Same-sex kissing and sex on the side cause relationship meltdowns - in Trading Faces at the Lion and Unicorn in Gaisford Street, NW5

TRADING faces is a collection of tales of the darker more sombre things people do in relationships.

Many are in long standing marriages or partnerships and Trading Faces describes what happens when things become stale or have lost their love, be it out of resentment, boredom, not knowing when they have a good thing, or experiencing the disasters of the disillusionment in dating trying to find “the one”.

A loathe-some, controlling, married-to-a-woman banker, Stewart (Daniel Sommerford) is having a little on the side with a man he met off the internet Cal, who is also in a long term gay relationship. A teacher – Sally (Stacha Hicks) - is also having a little on the side with a young girl she tutors. And the perils of dating “the great sex but wrong man” appear for Della (Sandra Darnell) and Seb (John Nayagam).

These storylines have been done before, and there is little in terms of revelation or insight. The play involves a lot of sex, a little bit of nudity and violence, lots of same sex relationships and kissing yet the script is unable to deliver the ultimate punch it seemingly desires.

Predictably the second half examines the fall out when the loved one discovers the betrayal of trust and the destruction that comes from such a scene of confrontation.

It is here some of the best performances are delivered - notably in the painful, sometimes violent, and difficult to watch exchange between Stewart and his wife Fran (Louise Bailey).

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The director and entire cast have incredible talent, and perform with such emotion and depth you are engaged and moved by the devastation of their characters, and their desire for love.