PLAY and Changing Face Collective have collaborated to present young writer Adam Foster’s cracking new play Clay. It was originally conceived at the Old Red Lion theatre as part of a new writing event and has now been brought to the intimate stage at the Pleasance Theatre, North London.
Foster’s funny and dark play offers a frightening look at the blurred lines of sexual consent when two young Londoners experience a disturbing meetup after a one-night stand. It begins innocently enough at a house party in Bromley, Lindsay’s (Katharine Drury) friends have gone on the hunt for coke and so party straggler Jordan (Alex Hope), doing his best Marlon Brando impression, joins her. They strike up rambling conversation about pottery and superheroes and with a mixture of loneliness and booze, they end up in bed together.
The next morning Lindsay faces the awkward ‘morning after the night before’ realisation and wants nothing more than to get Jordan out of the house. An abrupt departure and no swapping of names or numbers, Lindsay bumps into Jordan weeks later in Tooting. He’s down on his luck after losing his job and decides to cling onto Lindsay’s party plans, despite her polite brush off, which ends with alarming consequences.
Foster cleverly writes the events as a dialogue between the character and audience, with Lindsay and Jordan giving their own take on the story as it unfolds. It becomes apparent that whilst Lindsay dislikes Jordan and he’s merely a one-night thing for her, he thinks he’s in with a chance and misinterprets her signals as a come on.
Whether it’s because I am a girl, but I felt Lindsay had a stronger case for her version of events. Drury portrays her as a strong character, confident and assured, that’s perhaps what makes the act so chilling is that she simply feels powerless to stop it. The fact that she never actually utters the word no, does that make it ok?
It’s a really thought provoking and powerful piece and Drury and Hope deliver with real sensitivity and professionalism regarding the subject. What begins a hilarious rom-com style drama quickly turns into something much darker that ultimately questions the grey area between a yes or a no.
I am sure it won’t be the last we see of this talented troupe who have created a fabulous piece of fringe theatre. Clay poignantly raises awareness of an important issue and it’s one to see.
Clay runs until 24th April at the Pleasance Theatre, London.