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  • Henry Longstaff

I F*cked You In My Spaceship - Soho Theatre

Sex, drama and aliens

Two men stand holding on to each other


The world has seen the traditional format of a relationship shift and change, adapting to suit the times. But what happens when a third person unexpectedly arrives in the middle of your existing relationship? Louis Emmitt-Stern’s new play, fresh from its success at The Vault Festival, blends interspersed duologues to examine how the slightest change can drive deep and irreparable divisions into once happy homes.

Leo and Dan are looking to spice things up a little. Leo wants to explore his fantasies further, and Dan happy to go along with whatever - even if that involves him dressing up as an alien. That doesn’t work so they opt to bring a third person into the mix. Al agrees, the arrangement seemingly working nicely as a weekly event for the trio but threads begin to unravel and space unexpectedly forms between Leo and Dan, a disconnect where there wasn’t before.

In parallel Anna and Emily want to have a baby, Anna having dreamt of being a mother for as long as she can remember. The pair mull over baby names whilst interviewing potential sperm donors when Robert arrives, a student short on cash, not too fussed about the long-term implications of donating. Impossible issues crop up and Robert moves in with the couple forcing change to the homely dynamic, Anna feeling cutout from the decisions and responsibility.

Emmit-Sterns writing is wickedly efficient, collapsing entire relationships into short snappy scenes. It takes no time at all for us to understand who these people are, quickly investing in their relationships before we witness the plot attack their foundations. The humour is sharp and sarcastic, forming a solid base for many performances to flourish. Direction from Joseph Winer keeps the proceedings moving too, rotating the cast onto the stage with no set or scenery, adding subtle movement without the piece stagnating. There is scope to reduce the running time slightly but this was not an issue.

Jonas Moore delivers a strong performance as Leo, capturing the self-inflicted loss the character experiences nicely. When in a scene with Felix Kai’s Al, the pair work incredibly effectively, Kai’s wide grin taunting him as he prowls. The gentle power shift that occurs over the 60 mins is impressive, the script and performances link up well to convey the changing dynamic, irreversibly altered before we realise what is happening. In the opposing scenes, Fanta Barrie is electric, harnessing the frantic fervour of Anna, desperate to realise her dream but blind to the complications bound to it. Plagued by gaslighting from the initially hilarious Jacob Bukasa (Robert) - his panicked persona a welcome comedic source, before his intentions morph and the separation from the kindly but vacant Emily settles in.

It is not a threat from another world causing havoc in this play, but instead a personal invasion, an invasion into the home from an outsider that is impossible to shake. With a little more work to tidy the conclusion, this has the bearings of a show to be evolved and repeated time and time again, packed with the possibility of becoming a staple queer play of power, lust and love. It equally has intriguing potential to be a vessel to explore varying combinations of couples (think of the pandemic run of Constellations), the endless possibilities could be fascinating to see - just a thought? Allow yourself to be abducted by this show.

Running until 8th July - Tickets

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