I Found Her Tied To My Bed

Written by Jeff Tabnick, Directed by Ged Quayle
Strange Roads Theatre Company
Unity Theatre, 31st January - 2nd February 2006

Reviewed by Mandy McFarland

The subject-matter of this play is truly disturbing on many levels, and the warning that “…the play contains strong language and scenes that some people may find disturbing” predicted a full-on, boundary pushing exploration of the darker side of the human psyche, where life is cheap and snuffed out for the sole purpose of perverse sexual release and gratification. You can only imagine that to create a twisted existence of death, torture, humiliation and insanity would be to exist in a living hellish nightmare. Hard enough to live out and harder still to sit and watch.

Based on a true story of two nurses who connect with each other’s desire and need for the macabre, for dominance and submission, for getting their sexual kicks from killing through suffocation then getting off on the experience through bondage and re-enactment of the act, I expected to be taken on a dark and disturbing journey that exposed the horror of ‘another world’.

Alas, this was not to be. From the start the script was delivered in monotone and continued that way till the very end. The ‘strong language’ consisted of two uses of the word cunt and a few fucks thrown in here and there. At no point were we taken on a rollercoaster journey through the emotions of fear, anger, excitement, longing or lust, nor dragged kicking and screaming into the dark pit of madness, catapulted to the giddy heights of orgasmic euphoria, nor subjected to the terrifying isolation and outsiderness that invariably plagues people who live in such a surreal world. This play was performed as if it were a last minute dress rehearsal – ‘just run through the lines luvvies, and don’t worry about delivering any emotions for now’. At some points it was hard to decipher what they were saying, and some scenes bordered on the comical. As for the bondage scene, this consisted of one actress being strapped by her ankles and wrists to a bed by shiny new studded leather straps, whereupon she proceeded to wriggle about like a child, or like one of those desperate ladies tied to a railway line by a moustached, cloaked baddie in an old black and white film. I fail to see why they went to the trouble of involving the Liverpool bondage community; any of whom turned up to see the play would probably feel the same!

I went into this with an open mind and expected to see and hear some things that exist way beyond the boundaries of my everyday life, but came away feeling that I’d watched two kids playing at nurses and serial killers. At best mediocre, at worst hammy and very under-acted.

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