Communicating Doors – Menier Chocolate Factory
Alan Ayckbourn’s play Communicating Doors is a farcical sci-fi comedy about a Dominatrix from the future who goes back in time (through a revolving door in a hotel room), to warn women that they are to be murdered, after she witnesses a mans dying confession. It is an interesting idea to explore but left me a little underwhelmed and after a long two and a half hours, I was dizzy from the makeshift spinning door, hoping it would transport me out of the theatre.
The idea of seeing Rachel Tucker trade in her broomstick for a bag of sex toys and play a leather clad dominatrix from the future certainly got my attention. Having seen her in Farragut North at the Southwark Playhouse, a serious political play, I knew there was more to her than just defying gravity and once again she showed another layer of her acting abilities as the London sex worker Poopay. Brilliantly played and with a convincing London accent although her being a sex worker had no relevance on the play. David Bamber was great as Julian, helping add madness to the piece and Imogen Stubbs and Lucy Briggs-Owen played ex-wives Ruella and Jessica with charm and dismay.
For a play that spans forty years (1980, 2000, 2020) it would have been nice to see some different set pieces used in the hotel room to differentiate between time periods. Because there were no set changes, it unfortunately just looked a little like a leather-clad woman going in and out of a wardrobe. Sadly, towards the end of the play I started feeling like I was going around in circles in the communicating door myself, unsure of where it was all going.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Alastair Muir
Communicating Doors is playing at the Menier Chocolate Factory until 27 June 2015. Click here for tickets