Four Play at the Above The Stag Theatre: Press night review by Stephen Vowles 

Jake Brunger’s play is rather good with the four cast members – Keeran Blessie as Pete, Ashley Byam as Rafe, Marc McKinnon as Andrew and Declan Spaine as Michael – giving robust performances and all are clearly relishing their roles. The feel good factor of the play is set at a very high level and as the story unfolds each character has their own pivotal part to play. Brunger has also woven into the script the very clever use of the monologue, especially the one on monogamy.

Four Play looks at the power of physical attraction and when an arranged liaison is allowed to be set up – in this case by the Rafe and Pete characters – and as long as the pre-set rules are adhered to, nothing should go wrong.

Here Brunger constructs a well written conundrum, is there safety in numbers when creating a scenario? Is it then allowed that you can ask the person you are going to have sex with to try ‘stuff’ you would not do with your partner. 

Handcuffs, dripping hot wax, watersports – and shows that kissing someone still remains a very personal and intimate thing. Brunger also looks at the need to feel special and when a line is crossed the complications become inevitable when then the blame game is played.

A special mention has to be made of Marc McKinnon whose stage presence is fabulous – strong, subtle and at the same time also gentle with a very clear intention on his part to give a beautifully measured performance; superb.

Four Play is a fresh and invigorating look at living your life a certain way and where there are clear comparisons made to our heterosexual contemporaries, this is explored with confidence by Brunger. At the heart of this play is a message that pride comes at a price which makes the play immensely appealing and hugely relatable. Four Play is directed by Matthew Iliffe who clearly knows how to tell a story.

Photos by PBG Studios


Four Play runs to Saturday 22 February at Above The Stag, 72 Albert Embankment  London, SE1 7TP. Box office:

To Top