I Keep a Woman in My Flat Chained to a Radiator
On the floor of a grubby flat sits a young woman shackled to a radiator. She's making origami birds and is seemingly unfazed by her situation.
Described as a hilarious black comedy, I Keep a Woman in My Flat Chained to a Radiator certainly lives up to both of these labels as kidnapper (Stephen) and victim spend 45 minutes preparing for the arrival of Stephen’s dinner date.
The dynamic between Alex Wells-King and Monica Forero is fascinating with the two actors making the most of the comedy but also allowing an underlying tension to seep into the scene. The characters know each other well, engaging in banter and bickering, some cheeky flirting and mock arguments reminiscent of pub quiz teams.
There might be a flash of fear but this is quickly glossed over as they change the target of the joke. With the verbal power constantly in a state of flux, it is the physical power struggle that reminds us that she is chained to the Victorian radiator in the corner. Although the chains stretch across the room, her movements are still hampered, the shackles hurting her wrists if she forgets her place and over extends.
Frustratingly and rather tantalisingly, the reason for the situation is only briefly referred to and never explained. Moments of tenderness are evident but a dark history looms over the piece as it is clear they were strangers to begin with.
Slick, pacy and intriguing, this is a highly comedic take on an unsettling scenario—a snapshot of interdependency and ego.
Reviewer: Amy Yorston