Rust (3 stars)

This article is from 2019


Pillow talk is too fluffy to resonate

Nadia (Claire Lams) and Daniel (Jon Foster) are two people in their thirties, having a long-term, extra-marital affair in a small but comfortable flat paid for by Nadia.

As the years pass, the push and pull of the relationship is put under the microscope, as they physically and verbally tussle on a large bed covered with pillows. Max Johns' simple but effective set also features UV strips which glow different mood colours as the lovers fight, kiss and recalibrate the rules of their partnership.

It's very much of the moment, with modern bourgeois concerns. It's easy to picture them in the Waitrose queue, buying placatory sugar-free snacks for the kids, and wine for themselves, waiting for the time when they can resume the weekly tryst.

Kenny Emson's writing certainly has its moments, especially during moments of conflict when the outside world threatens to penetrate their self-imposed bubble, but as the two characters are not the easiest to warm to, in spite of perfectly weighted performances by Lams and Foster, the stakes remain low.

Assembly Roxy, until 25 Aug, 12.40pm, £ 14 (£13).


  • 3 stars

Rust is about pushing the boundaries of trust, love and lust to the limit in this ultra-contemporary, sexy and funny production from Kenny Emson (Plastic, Old Red Lion) and directed by Eleanor Rhode (King John, Royal Shakespeare Company, Boudica, Shakespeare’s Globe). Nadia and Daniel have just signed for a flat. Under a…