The Lover, written by Harold Pinter and directed by Kerry McGee, is part of the Six Block Series, where actors and directors must create a work using only six black acting blocks as a set. Matt Hackman and Emma Mason play Robert and Sarah, a waspy, proper couple trying to keep the spice alive in their decade-long marriage. Highlighted through out by musical trio, The Beggars of Life, singer Rebecca Anne Muhleman is also featured throughout as an object of desire for both Robert and Sarah and serves as narrator from time to time to provide witty commentary about what people will do to make a relationship work.
This play deals with the serious topic of adultery, but it is actually up to the audience to decide whether or not Robert and Sarah are actually being unfaithful. The story line was a bit hard to follow at times but wraps up in a neat little bow at the end.
This was definitely one of the more progressive and edgy productions I have seen this season. Hackman, with his classic leading-man, good looks, has an understated way about his acting that is absolutely captivating. The ladies, Muhleman and Mason were strong and emotive, and the entire cast was obviously expertly directed by McGee, especially a scene where the three leads engage in a little fun ménage a trois action.
The play is short, only running about an hour and change and is showing through Saturday, June 2 at 8 p.m. Get down to Sycamore Rouge for this one, you will not be disappointed!
Jen Maciulewicz is theatre critic for GAYRVA.com and is a Richmond local. Jen attended VCU and holds a B.S. in Anthropology. She has starred as Reno Sweeney in Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes" and attended VCU’s School of Music. Follow Jen on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jenlaumac.