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This Much (or an Act of Violence Towards the Institution of Marriage)

This Much (or an Act of Violence Towards the Institution of Marriage). Photo: Ellie Kurtz This Much (or an Act of Violence Towards the Institution of Marriage). Photo: Ellie Kurtz

John Fitzpatrick’s thoughtful new play is an exploration of the reasons why two gay men might want to tie the knot. Is marriage a gesture of permanence? A celebration of a relationship? Or is it an act of social conformity? A chance to do as others do; to have the big day, the cake, the attention?

Gar is torn between two men: his partner, Anthony, and Albert, a younger man who he met online. He is attracted to both of them, in different ways. Anthony is pressuring Gar into a marriage he sometimes wants and sometimes doesn’t want – he begins to view Albert as a way of sabotaging his relationship.

Kate Sagovsky’s production has an appealingly strong visual identity. The production standards are particularly high for a fringe show, with a versatile set, designed by Alex Berry, that uptight Anthony is forever hoovering and cleaning.

Nudity is very much a part of its aesthetic too. There’s a lot of penis in this play. But it never feels gratuitous. It’s a way of capturing both the intimacy and the exposure nature of a relationship. 

There is some really strong acting from all three actors. And while the dialogue becomes a bit overwrought in places, This Much is still a rich and considered piece of writing.

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Smart, sensitive, strongly-performed play exploring the social pressures surrounding gay marriage