What kind of act counts as being Unfaithful; speaking to a stranger, or a night of passion with someone other than your partner? Are the consequences always bad? This is the theme of Owen McCafferty’s ‘Unfaithful’, directed by Adam Penford, at Found111.
The set is bare apart from a double bed draped in crisp white sheets; it is reflected in three full length sliding mirrors mounted to the wall. Either side of the bed are five rows of the audience; you are as close to the action as is possible.
The four characters appear briefly, one by one, as a way of an introduction. They are two couples, one older and one younger. Over the course of the next seventy minutes, we’ll understand how each has been unfaithful to the other.
Niamh Cusack plays ‘Joan’, the woman scorned, the play opens with her finding out her husband, ‘Tom,’ played by Sean Campion, has slept with another woman, a younger woman. This opening sets the scene for what is to follow; the dialogue is acerbic, the words slice through the tiny venue, and they are hurtful and vindictive. Yet, you’ll find yourself chuckling at some of the more colourful expletives.
Both Niamh Cusack and Sean Campion are exceptional throughout, their thick Irish accents seem to accentuate the bitterness they both feel and they maintain the heightened emotion throughout.
Matthew Lewis plays ‘Peter’, a male escort with a girlfriend. For such a clean cut young man this should have been a challenging role, yet he delivers it with ease. He portrays the character in a beautifully empathetic way that makes you feel drawn to him, to champion him.
Ruta Gedmintas plays ‘Tara’, girlfriend to the male escort. This is a wonderfully engaging performance that seems to stand out the most. Gedmintas delivers every line, and every movement, with absolute precision and yet so naturally you would feel as if you’d known the character for years.
McCafferty’s ‘Unfaithful’, focuses less on the actual act of betrayal, but the aftermath that ensues. This makes the play deliciously intriguing; the audience is more inclined to sympathise with the characters, rather than judge.
Overall ‘Unfaithful’ is an engaging piece of theatre that asks, sometimes, difficult questions about what betrayal is and how it can be overcome, allowing people to move on with their lives, perhaps even in a better position than when they started.