‘Photograph 51’ was one of the biggest plays in London when it opened a few years ago. Featuring Nicole Kidman playing the role of Rosalind Franklin (surely one of the most underappreciated women in the history of science)- it was a stunning piece of theatre. Anyway, playwright Anna Ziegler hadn’t had another play in London since then… until now. ‘Actually’ tells the story of Tom and Amber who meet as students at a prestigious American university and share one special night… but what really happens?!
I think it’s fair to say there have been a lot of plays in recent years looking at relationships, consent and the contentious issues surrounding this. And I suppose that’s why this play disappointed me slightly (well, that and the playwright’s impressive debut). I can see the point of ‘was she clear in her refusal’ and ‘who was in the right’, but it lacked the full development of these concepts and certainly didn’t give me the same emotional goosebumps, or even food for thought, as the truly exceptional ‘Consent’ (which impressed me so much I saw it twice).
Overall: not a bad piece of theatre, but it’s certainly no ‘Photograph 51’.