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Review | ‘Afterglow’ will make you rethink an open relationship

The brilliant show is currently playing at the Southwark Playhouse until July 20

By Steve Brown

Words: Steve Brown

Some couples keep their relationships alive by opening the doors to other people and they often cement their love for each other.

However, the case is not the same for everyone and S Asher Gelman’s first play Afterglow tells this side of an open relationship.

The show had a successful off-Broadway run before coming to London’s Southwark Playhouse for a limited run and it is certainly not to be missed.

We follow married couple Josh (Sean Hart) and Alex (Danny Mahoney) who invited young Darius (Jesse Fox) for a threesome.

Yes, sounds ideal and the opening scene does not hold back. With full frontal nudity from all the cast throughout the entire show, it is just one reason to book tickets now.

However, as all their relationships begin to fall and hit unexpected turns, Afterglow leaves you thinking whether an open relationship is the right way for you.

All three cast members truly bring to life their characters and praise has to be given for all three who confidently walk around the small stage fully nude – something I struggle to do alone never mind with a full audience watching.

It’s hard to pin-point the stand-out performance as they are all fantastic and you will find yourself feeling sorry for each and every character – despite also not overly liking any of them – which I believe is the intention.

Directed by Tom O’Brien, the show, which only runs for 90mins, perfectly using the small stage – including a real shower – and the transition between sets works great – the three cast turn into stage hands, but never fail to come out of character.

The looks between all three as the set changes, is something to keep an eye on. It’s those looks that help the narrative to go forward and you learn more about each character’s development through these.

The beating music during the set changes did become slightly tedious but as the narrative progressed, you are invested so much in these characters you want them to all be happy.

Whether this happens or not would be a huge spoiler but safe to say, you are left deep in thought about your own relationship.

Grab your tickets to see the show here and, trust me, you’ll not be disappointed.

Rating: 4*

Photos by Darren Bell