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Review | Spy For Spy | Riverside Studios | 20/06/2023

This two-hander centres around Californian’s Sarah and Molly. Despite being opposites on paper, they truly love each other. We follow their love story, but perhaps not in the most conventional fashion.

Forty minutes before curtain up, the audience are invited to choose the order of the six scenes at random. It is only after this point that the cast and production staff find out the order for that performance. Although there are 720 potential configurations, it was hard to believe that this wasn’t an intended set order, as it was pure theatrical magic.

Kieron Barry’s writing is perfection, with each scene evoking different emotions from the audience. Barry litters the script with the sort of private jokes and references that couples often use to create their own unique language in relationships. Not only did this make ‘Spy For Spy’ remarkably relatable, but allowed the narrative to gel seamlessly, despite being in a different order each night.

After her incomparable performance as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, I promised myself to see whatever Amy Lennox went on to do next. Playing an uptight lawyer could have made it difficult to empathise with Sarah. Lennox however played her with such nuance whilst remaining multilayered, that the audience related to her completely. Olive Gray was equally captivating playing the younger more free-spirited Molly. Gray and Lennox’s chemistry is utterly captivating and worth the ticket price alone to witness. Rarely do we see such impeccable casting on stage, this is a performance I will remember for a very long time to come.

From laughing out loud one minute to crying the next, this show is an emotional rollercoaster in the best possible way. Although each scene was equally enthralling, some ended with rapturous applause whilst others had the audience stunned into silent. This is testament to just how well the piece is both written and performed. ‘Spy For Spy’ shows that love has no logic, pattern or set course and has to be seen to be appreciated.

It was refreshing to see a love story involving queer characters not be focused on a more typical male only story. I hope ‘Spy For Spy’ helps pave the way for more perspectives from the LGBT+ community to be played out more regularly, allowing more queer theatregoers to be seen and represented on stage. This however isn’t a story about ‘queer love’, it is about love and it is simply beautiful to watch.

Spy For Spy is on at Riverside Studios until Sunday 02 July 2023, see below for booking information:

Note: My ticket was gifted. Irrespective of whether a show is gifted or bought, I always ensure that my reviews are fair and based on my honest opinion alone.


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