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Review of ‘Jezebel’

By Arthur Rochester

Jezebel

Sharan Raju in ‘Jezebel’

Originally performed in Dublin and then at London’s Soho Theatre, Mark Cantan’s play gives an ironic makeover to the modern sex comedy, brilliantly funny without salaciousness. It centres around the relationship between two young professional people, from their first innuendo-laden encounter at a business meeting, to the point where, a few months later, they decide to spice up their waning sex-life by recruiting a compliant third person to engage in a ‘threesome’.

Their choice falls on the ludicrously misnamed and socially inept Jezebel, whose own disastrous love-life has left her frustrated and desperate. The climactic consequences of the encounter create complications which are played out in a series of plot-twists worthy of the best traditions of farce.

The fast-paced storyline was narrated by whichever of the three actors were not immediately involved in the action and a great variety of locations were clearly represented with only a few pieces of adaptable furniture and creative use of the limited lighting available. Paul Ackroyd’s direction maintained a relentless pace throughout and made good use of the whole acting area.

The acting was universally outstanding. As Alan, the hapless male participant in the sex-triangle, Joseph Dominic superbly portrayed the affability, naivety and eagerness to please which led him into increasing levels of deception and confusion. His handling of a statistical monologue at breakneck pace was also particularly noteworthy.

The female roles were undertaken by two BLT debutantes, of whom it is to be hoped we will see more in future. Lucy Camacho gave a finely crafted account of the feisty Robin, the instigator and principal mover of the action, and Sharan Raju superbly conveyed Jezebel’s emotional turmoil.

Mutual support and collaboration between the three, credit for which must be shared with the director, was very evident and resulted in a superb ensemble performance, which was obviously greatly enjoyed by the appreciative audience.