Between the Sheets

Between the Sheets delivers and then some. It's punchy, entertaining and surprisingly complex.
Karina Abadia
Published on November 13, 2013


The atmosphere is charged from the start. Between the Sheets opens with adulteress and wife meeting for the first time. It's late, year three teacher Teresa (Beth Allen) has just finished conducting a parent-teacher evening when Marion (Jennifer Ward-Lealand) arrives unannounced. She wants to ask Teresa a few quick questions about her son Alex's report card. Reluctantly, Teresa agrees. What follows is a confrontation with repercussions neither is expecting.

This is the debut work of Canadian playwright Jordi Mand. As with its premiere season in Toronto in 2012, the local production is made up of an entirely female cast, crew and creative team with Sophie Roberts on board as the director and Jane Hakaraia as the lighting and set designer.

It's easy to see why Ward-Lealand was keen to bring this play to Auckland; it's punchy, entertaining and surprisingly complex. The two actors only have 60 minutes to tell the story and both do a good job, although Ward-Lealand is particularly mesmerising. Perhaps because it was opening night, Allen's delivery of lines was a little uneven at times but improved over the course of the play.

The set is meticulously presented with the poster-laden classroom bringing the context sharply into focus. It doesn't allow you to forget for a moment who the innocent victim is here.

Slowly through the women's conversations we build up a picture of Curtis the husband and Curtis the boyfriend. In the process assumptions the lover and wife have formed about each other are challenged. The audience is not encouraged to simply take sides because these women are not presented as typecasts but as people you could actually imagine meeting in real life. Go to this play and it'll be an hour very well spent.


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