11th April, 2016
When people are left alone, that’s when bad things happen’.
‘Right Now’ by the French Canadian actress/writer Catherine-Anne Toupin should be a destabilising, yet rewarding 80 minutes. Instead, it left me disappointed. The play has echoes of the discomforting relationships in Ian McEwan’s The Comfort of Strangers and Joe Orton’s ‘Entertaining Mr Sloane.’ But the opportunity is lost to create a psychologically, intriguing dark comedy.
We are introduced to bright young couple Alice and Ben, who have just settled into a beautiful new apartment. Their lives are invaded by the pushy neighbours from across the hall. Juliette (Maureen Beattie), Gilles (Guy Williams), and their son François (Dyfan Dwyfor) are unfazed by social convention, and they insinuate their way into the living space and life of Alice and her affable, then cruelly indifferent husband Ben (Sean Biggerstaff). The neighbours break social taboos from inviting themselves to dinner to boldly stating that they don’t love their own son. Outwardly Juliette and Gilles show a complete lack of desire for each other whilst flirting outrageously with their young hosts. Things begin to heat up as innocent invitations lead to passionate encounters and unsettling revelations – A very sinister relationship quintet. Reality and fantasy start to bleed together seamlessly that we don’t know where one stops and the other starts.