The play tells two stories using the same three actors. The first set in 1958 tells of a husband and wife on the surface happily married but things go somewhat awry with the appearance of the wife's rather "mannered" friend. What follows is a painful and destructive path where the violence turns from gentle and emotional to painfully and physical. The shame in their actions force all the characters to regret their past decisions and indeed their very nature.
The second story set in 2008(?) tells the story of a gay couple and how one of them suffers from sex addiction. Actually his partner probably suffers just as much. He's had enough and is leaving him. The sex addiction seems to be born out of a self-loathing and the inability to explain himself to his partner has led to the disintegration of their long-them relationship. It reflects the gay shame that destroyed the relationship of the earlier piece.
Now if all that sounds rather depressing and worthy it is - a bit. And it isn't. There is much brevity in the piece not least by Matthew Horne's various stylised appearances as a sex Nazi, an aversion therapist and most successfully as a lad's mag editor with a story to tell.
The wife in 1958 also playing the straight best friend in 2008 talks the most sense and has many of the funniest lines. She is in many ways the voice of the writer. Counselling and scolding, explaining and supporting.
It's an excellent piece, we really enjoyed it and it's well worth seeing. Not least for the brilliant cast and the "to Russia, with love" signs that they bringing out when they take a bow.