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Review of Virgins Die Horny at the Courtyard Theatre

Virgins Die Horny PosterThose of you reading this that are married or civil partnered, I want you to take a moment and think back to your wedding and specifically your honeymoon night. I’m sure that while it was wonderful, it wasn’t 100% perfect. Maybe something went wrong at the hotel, but you didn’t let it spoil the experience did you? Now imagine how your honeymoon would have been if everything had gone wrong and the worst thing you could possibly conceive of had happened. No matter what you are thinking of right now it is not a patch on the horrific honeymoon night facing our newlyweds in Selectworks Productions first UK offering Virgins Die Horny at the Courtyard Theatre.

In one of the strangest, yet most engaging openings, the audience walk in to the auditorium and can instantly see the set – a hotel honeymoon suite – where Kate (Helen Rose Hampton) is tucked up in bed in with her bridegroom James (Romanos Kassimis). The two of them are lying there oblivious to the arriving audience; kissing, cuddling, giggling and just being newlyweds. The lights go down and the couple come and join the rest of us away from the bed. We learn that Kate is 38 and on her third husband in 10 years, this time with James, 12 years her junior. Kate has all the insecurities of a thrice married woman with a much younger man and she talks them though with James who tries to reassure her of his love and commitment to her. He seems to be getting through to Kate and they are starting to get all lovely dovey once more when in bursts Kate’s ex-husband Jimmy (Alex Roseman). Actually Jimmy was husband No 2 (the one before James) and he is not a happy bunny by any stretch of the imagination. Jimmy has problems. He seems to basically be a drug addict and probably an alcoholic as well. He also has some unfinished business with Kate and his friend (and her husband, keep up) James.

So, we have Kate on her honeymoon, currently with two husbands in the room, what more can happen you might wonder. There’s a knock at the door and in the words of many gameshows “husband No 1, come on down” and in walks Kate’s first husband, Jamie (Neil Hobbs) arriving after being summoned by a text message from a number he didn’t recognise. Jamie is the oldest of Kate’s three spouses. Dressed immaculately in black suit, shirt and tie, he looks like, sounds like and, as it later transpires, is a gangster of the old school. He is also good friends with James and Jimmy – a strange scenario, but one that is pivotal to the story as it unfolds. The play covers a lot of ground and we go back into the history of Kate and her various husbands and their tempestuous relationships. Secrets are revealed in great detail and we learn more about all of the characters. Kate, who appears so strong on the outside yet is plagued by insecurities stretching back to her childhood. James, a lawyer who has always really loved Kate. Jimmy, wanting to break an oath and tell the biggest secret of all and Jamie a bar-room philosopher who explains the story of the horny virgins. There are some major monologues, especially Jimmy’s dream told with a real emotion as we move towards a climax that has a traumatic and lasting affect on all of the characters.

The Studio at the Courtyard is an ideal space for this very intimate play and its portrayal of 4 people going through major events in their separate but intertwined lives. The script by Playwright/Director Sal Cesare is intense in its message and the characters deliver the powerful lines with gusto and Alex Roseman’s portrayal of Jimmy is a marvellous mixture of madness, love and self-loathing. The heart of this play is love and the effects of the choices we make in life. If you truly love someone, will you do everything in your power to protect them? And, if you do, then how do you live with the consequences of the decisions you’ve made to ensure that protection. The play doesn’t necessarily answer this but it does raise questions in the mind of the audience and lead to some interesting discussion on the way home.

3 Star Review

Review by Terry Eastham

Virgins Die Horny
The Courtyard Theatre
28th October 2014 to 16th November 2014 – 7.30pm
http://www.thecourtyard.org.uk/whatson/

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