Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.


“Thrillingly acted s&m drama”

With Smoke, US playwright Kim Davies has created a fascinating and vaguely uncomfortable exploration of sado-masochism.

John is an intern to an increasingly needy, but very famous, artist. Julie is the artist’s 20-year-old daughter, who has dropped out of college and has decided to explore her darker side. They meet in the kitchen at an S&M party, where they hope to sneak a cigarette.

Davies’ play fizzes with awkward sexual tension and, once the couple click, it becomes a fascinating game of cat and mouse. What adds to the frisson is that we are never quite sure who is the cat and who is the mouse.

As John, Vincent Santvoord is charming and slightly vulnerable until he is invited into role-play with Kristin Winters’ cynically abrasive Julie.

His anger boils up and the knives come out – literally as well as figuratively. All the pent-up rage of class, privilege and self-loathing explode on stage in a final toe-curling 10 minutes that’s difficult to watch and impossible to miss.

For all the excruciating realism of this S&M encounter, it’s just a shame that the chain-smoking looks so obviously fake. It’s a minor point though in a thrilling production that questions the parameters of consent and how we observe them.

Fudge review at Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh – ‘lacks dramatic insight’

Related to this Review

Ejaculation: Discussions About Female SexualityEjaculation: Discussions About Female Sexuality

Production Details
Production nameSmoke
StartsAugust 2, 2019
EndsAugust 26, 2019
Running time1hr 10mins
AuthorKim Davies
DirectorSimon Usher
Set designerLibby Watson
Lighting designerSimon Bennison
Sound designerJulian Chesshire
CastKristin Winters, Vincent Santvoord
ProducerBound by Theatre
VerdictThrillingly acted, toe-curling drama on themes of consent and privilege
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.
Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Linked In