Sexual politics on stage

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AFTER a night of drunken flirting, Amber and Tom, two college freshmen at Princeton, end up in bed together. Sex was something they both seemed to want. When Tom had resisted playing a game at a keg party earlier in the evening, Amber suggested he should relent “if you wanna sleep with me tonight”. When the two start dancing, Amber playfully takes off her shirt. But what happens later that night, in the twin bed of Tom’s dorm room, is less clear. Tom seems to think he was following the relevant cues, but Amber sees things differently. “Thomas Anthony practically raped me,” she tells her friend in the hungover haze of the next morning. They will ultimately present their conflicting versions of events before a campus tribunal.

“Actually”, a timely new two-person play from Anna Ziegler, dramatises a he-said, she-said scenario on a college campus. Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, the play effectively illustrates just how complicated these cases can be, clouded as they are by alcohol, inexperience, mixed messages and the…Continue reading

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