By Harold Pinter
Directed by Paul Wagar
Produced by Soul Theatre
At A Red Orchid Theatre, Chicago
Sexual foreplay a scintillating experience in Pinter play
Soul Theatre mounts a well acted and will directed 55 minute one act version of Harold Pinter’s The Lover.
“Is your lover coming today” says husband Richard. “Yes,” says his wife, Sarah. Sarah (Ravi Batista) and Richard (Mick Weber), a middle class rural living couple seem to have both communication and intimacy issues in their ten year old marriage. This play explores the nature of love and the rules of sexual attraction. Pinter vividly demonstrates how far a couples will go to avoid intimacy as he has the couple playing sexual and power games designed to create passion in their marriage. Batista and Weber are believable as they slowly develop the dramatic tension as each move from role playing to casual conversation in a feeble attempt to communicate and enhance their intimacy. The mystery builds and the fear accelerates as the games get more physically intense. Pinter’s characters explore much without resolving anything. His play is stimulating and thought provoking as we see ourselves in his characters.
Weber and Batista are so intense and sexually uninhibited that the role playing get so intense that it brings out the animal instincts in both. This is subtle yet strong play that will keep you on the edge of your seats as we wonder what will happen next. Both actors are intense and honest. The short 55 minute work comes with a series of sex oriented lectures with topics ranging from Lap Dancing classes to healthy aphrodisiacs lectures to group sexual meditation classes to a lecture about sex toys by a woman from a sex shop. That was the lecture I was forced to listen to until I was so grossed out by the lady telling me how whips, cock rings and dildos will stimulate great sex for folks over 40 that I bolted for the door. I’d advise those attending The Lover to sit near an exit in case they start the distasteful lectures without giving the audience a chance to leave. Most folks come to theatre to enjoy a play not to be lectured by sex oriented merchants trying to hawk their products. Be warned. The Lover is worth see but I’d skip the ill-advised tasteless lectures.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date reviewed: June 29, 2012
For more info checkout The Lover page at theatreinchicago.com
At A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St., Chicago, IL