Set in the dressing room of a Northern club, Emily Layton’s 45-minute one act play explores the role of striptease artists in modern culture. Darren (Joe Layton), a lad’s lad from Bolton is here to perform for a hen party, but his outer swagger hides his inexperience and lack of confidence. He is forced to share the dressing room with Nina (Kate Franz), an American student, who is an old hand at the game and self-assured as she prepares to entertain a stag party.
The writer, who also directs, lays the foundations for an amusing rom com, but does not really take the play anywhere and the sparring between the two protagonists is too predictable. Critically, the play takes far too long to get going and, for a piece as short as this, that is a pretty big problem. Towards the end, as Nina educates the naive Darren, there are some astute observations about the hypocrisy of attitudes to sex and gender, but, overall, the play does not bare enough about the world of strippers to be seen as anything more than a lightweight diversion.
Performance date: 7 August 2016