Lloyd Evans Lloyd Evans

Grotesquely plodding: Late Night Staring At High Res Pixels reviewed

Plus: a one-man show aimed at experts in linguistic philosophy

Lay folk will be baffled: Max Black, or, 62 Ways of Supporting the Head with a Hand. Credit: Andrey Bezukladnikov

The Finborough’s new show is a love story with the male partner absent. Two women, one Irish and one American, explain their feelings for a London businessman, aged 45, who seems to be connected with the fashion trade. The women, known as ‘I’ and ‘A’, have different functions. ‘I’ is a young Irish model and ‘A’ is the absent man’s co-worker. Both are besotted with him for obscure reasons. We know nothing about him except that he visits east London every Sunday to devour his parents’ roast dinner. ‘A’ attends these meals but ‘I’ is excluded so she texts him snaps of her boobs instead. The women aren’t remotely troubled by his cold, exploitative attitude. He uses ‘A’ for friendship and ‘I’ for sex. As soon as their affair begins he tries to demolish her ego. He tells ‘I’ that she lacks the confidence to ‘rock the red carpet in high heels’. It’s her fault that she doesn’t enjoy sex, he explains, because she’s not old enough to have proper orgasms. Obviously, this is a ploy to disguise his feeble performance but she trusts every word he says about her.

It becomes increasingly hard to believe that ‘I’, a beautiful 29-year-old brunette, would want to date a middle-aged swine who detests her neediness. ‘Why do I always end up with the clingers?’ he rants. When she bursts into tears she blames herself for bothering him. ‘I make a note never to bring up issues.’ Some of the fault lies with her because she regards their affair as a giddy little adventure. ‘I want us to look like it does in films,’ she simpers. ‘An Instagram relationship to make people jealous.’ It gets worse. She suggests that the creepy tyrant has a violent streak. At first she makes excuses for him.

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