Anna Ziegler’s Actually explores racism and sexism, in opposite directions in one relationship, at the same time – a feat only for the brave. The contentious discussions of sexual consent on college campuses is undoubtedly more widely spoken about in the United States, but this story is not one which is confined to any continent.
The second, smaller studio at Trafalgar Studios is the perfect setting for this play which needs little set or physical space in order to tell its intimate tale with a cast of just two. While the set is an effective kind of simple, more could have been achieved with either that or lights in order to give some physical context.
Simon Manyonda’s greatest testament as Tom, is that he manages to make an audience who all but know that he has been at least accused of some sexual misconduct feel empathetic towards him. Yasmin Page as Amber is believable and but unfortunately laughs at her own jokes which, as is often the case, makes her less funny. Both tackle their several monologues and dialogue with ease, though, telling complex tales with elegance and eloquence.
Known for award winning play Photograph 51, Anna Zeigler’s has written a detailed story and script, meaning the dialogue and storyline have a propensity to jump. As a result, Actually makes little comment on sexual consent and misconduct, instead flitting around it in a somewhat frantic manner. This is an important piece of theatre but may be stronger if it attempted to make its important points well, rather than making quite so many points.