10:46 | 19th February 2019

Reviews: Live Shows

Tue 25 Jan, 2011
By Robert Ingham

This comedy, about lust and seduction, tells the journeys each character undertakes on their quest for satisfaction and to be accepted in whatever shape or form.

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Be Seduced

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Above the Stag pub in Victoria there is a small theatre called, rather obviously, Above The Stag Theatre. This is a 56 seat venue and is perfect for their latest production from ATS Theatre, Seduction, an all male erotic comedy.

Seduction is an adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde and features 5 men in various states of undress at various stages of sexualities. You have your Rent boy picking up the Sailor, the Student sleeping with the Professor, the Business man sneaking around hotels, and the Actor divulging his life story to the Movie Producer.

This comedy, about lust and seduction, tells the journeys each character undertakes on their quest for satisfaction and to be accepted in whatever shape or form. To be absolutely honest with you, when you’ve got naked men in front of you the plot goes out the window, especially when the action moves into the basement of a club and you have simulated sex going on in the background. In such an intimate space you really do feel part of the action. It’s all rather titillating, entirely captivating and a perfect antidote to a stressful day at work.

From the moment the stage lights come up, you are introduced to the topless cast, setting the tone of the show. No harm done. Except I’m sure anyone who sees the show will immediately choose their favourite body as each is completely different. This is erotic-diversity after all. And the show works all the better for it.

The show is ably directed by Peter Bull who makes good use of the simple but incredibly effective set – 5 black boxes moving around the stage to create speakers, a bed, a bench, making the actors seem more vulnerable as the audience’s attention is focused and not detracted by the set. It is a strong cast but particular praise goes to Stanley Eldridge, who plays the Rent Boy/Teenager, and Stewart Dunseith who plays the Handyman/Actor. Stanley is just cute personified, his cheeky grin and even cheekier persona grabbing you from the start, wishing you had a couple of quid to buy a couple of gulps. Stewart’s performance as the Actor is a show-stealer, his acerbic tongue biting through the lines as if they were written specifically for him. And special mention goes to Simon Boughey’s nipples, peeking out from his dressing gown – delightfully distracting. They are joined by Royce Ullah and Michael Morrison, playing Sailor/Professor and Student/Writer respectively, both giving great performances.

There are holes, naturally. Sometimes a couple of the actors slip out of character, and every now and again their body language shows they are just playing a gay character.

Seduction is not for everyone but it certainly is a nice break from some of the other serious and rather tedious shows that are in the West End right now. I would imagine this is what a live wet dream would be like and I recommend it to anyone who wants an evening of sizzling sex, even if it is purely listening to others talk about it. Just make your drink a double before going in as that will add to the already testosterone fuelled venue. And then enjoy a few drinks in the pub below afterwards.

Seduction is on at the Above The Stag Theatre, Victoria, until 20th February. Tickets are £14 and every night has been sold out so far so make sure you book your tickets in advance.


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