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A review of 'STRANGERS IN BETWEEN' by Tommy Murphy on at The Golden Goose

Updated: Sep 24, 2023

Guest post by Amrat Khorana


There was a bit of everything in Strangers in Between, from comedy to drama, and it was very deliberate in the way it was structured. I haven't seen this play before, although I believe it has been around in different locations for quite a while.


An unassuming venue like the Golden Goose lends itself well to this production, which emphasises the universal nature of the coming-of-age story. Although the venue is small and rustic, it can still accommodate 85 people (and is air-conditioned). At the heart of Camberwell, near the Oval Tube Station, the location offers many options for food and drink and is conveniently located.


Tommy Murphy has done an excellent job in writing Strangers in Between and has taken a very honest approach to the play. In part described as a sex comedy, this play is about much more than just sex and comedy, but it explores sex humorously and has many well-placed one-liners (mainly delivered by Stephen Connery-Brown as Peter).

One man in a bath a second man sitting beside it
Strangers in Between Alex Ansdell and Matthew Mitcham Photo credit Peter Davies

A serious aspect of the story deals with accepting oneself in a world that doesn't always do so. It touches on abuse, but is primarily about relationships and the concept of chosen family. Throughout the story, genuine relationships are forged between people from different generations, and the story is hopeful, heart warming, and inspiring.


In spite of the fact that this narrative can be quite difficult to deliver with just three actors, Tommy's talent for writing multidimensional characters is evident, and this is successfully delivered not only by the cast but also the very well-designed lighting.


Small in size, the production moves seamlessly from scene to scene, which comes naturally to the three actors. With regard to the cast, Stephen Connery-Brown's portrayal of Peter conveys his dialogue with superb timing. Matthew Mitcham plays two characters, Will and Ben, and at first I thought there was another actor in the mix, demonstrating Matthew's great acting abilities. The standout performance for me has to be Alex Ansdell as Shane, a boy who ran away from home. In an emotional roller coaster of a performance, Alex effortlessly switches between insecure, unstable, angry, happy, nervous, and needy throughout the play. His performance is award-winning worthy, and he is an upcoming star in the making.


Cast: Matthew Mitcham (Ben/Will) is a retired Australian diver and trampolinist, born in Brisbane. At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Matthew executed a two-and-one-half somersault with two-and-one-half twists in the pike position for his final dive, scoring four 10s, giving him not only the highest score on a single dive ever, but the gold medal - the first openly gay athlete to win an Olympic gold medal. Stephen Connery-Brown (Peter) was born and raised in Sydney. This is Stephen’s fourth time playing Peter in ‘Strangers in Between’ (King’s Head Theatre/Trafalgar Studios 2).

Alex Ansdell (Shane) is making his professional debut. Creative team: Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher Designer David Shields Produced by LAMBCO Productions


Venue:

Golden Goose Theatre

146 Camberwell New Rd

London

SE5 0RR


Dates: Tuesday 19 September to Saturday 7 October


Time:

Evenings at 19:30 including Mondays

no shows on Sundays

Saturday matinees at 15:00


Prices: £18 (£13 Conc, VIP Front row seats £22)


Running time: 2 hours including interval


Box office: www.ticketsource.co.uk/strangers-in-between

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