In Sasa Theatre’s Open Couple, a man has an affair with another woman and then convinces her they should have an open marriage.
The Open Couple has been done before. For those who were at Ottawa Fringe last year, think Nadine Thornhill’s Complex Numbers, but in reverse – this time being the man who suggests the open marriage instead of the woman. That’s your plot. A man has multiple affairs on his wife and then convinces her to start an open marriage. Then when she enters into a profound relationship, the man can’t take it anymore out of jealousy.
There’s really no point to this story. No likeable character – and therefore – no emotional investment. The female is bipolar with her dramatic mood swings and “for-attention” semi-suicide attempts – which became more grating than sympathetic. The male is an asshole through and through, so not much going on for him either. I’ve heard a rumour that the play was written by a man as an apology for cheating on his wife… if so, what a shit apology.Yes – we get it – men are assholes… but your female character comes off as not much better.
While on the plus side, Sean Sonier and Madeleine Boyes-Manseau were strong in their roles, the set was elaborate, yet simple, and the lighting cues added a nice dimension to the play – the content just didn’t stand up on its own… and was not helped at all by its extremely anticlimactic and almost laughable “shock” of an ending that earns The Open Couple a basic two.
Photo provided by Sasa Theatre via the Ottawa Fringe Festival.