The New Romantic – Vault Festival: The dawn of the thruple

After Louis Theroux gave us a rather perplexed look at polyamory in his Altered States series last year, it was surely only a matter of time before the theme came up in a fresher form on the stage.

But rather than a lovelorn, dysfunctional, geeky trio, where one member isn’t really into it, The New Romantic presents a rather beautiful version of what a thruple could look like in the modern world.

Opening with Bruno, a boy with tape on his face, naked and playing a double bass. It’s a clever conceit that allows the sex parts to take place in a sort of surreal mime around Bruno’s bowed string instrument and the tape highlights his absence from the love story in the opening scenes, which takes place between two young women – Antonia and Erin, one is a goth lesbian, one is a bi-curious arty type, they start a flirtation, and Antonia invites Erin for a threesome.

The work still very much feels like a work in progress, which the cast happily admit it is; some moments of tension are wrung out for a few seconds too long and other clashes disappear in an unarticulated a mess of high-pitched wails. There’s an extra motif about the need for myths in modern culture that felt a bit well-trodden but the central concept – that maybe this is the era when the thruple will thrive – is a brilliant one and the performances and tenderness they showed for each other were really charming.

It’s the most convincing argument for introducing a third party into your love story that I’ve ever seen, it’s a shame that the fiction doesn’t match up to the reality. Those scenes of a half-naked Louis Theroux being fed strawberries still haunt me.

27 FEB — 03 MAR, Cavern, The Vaults, Waterloo

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