In My Bed @ 24:7 Festival
In My Bed’s structure is dazzling. Set in and around the bed belonging to Sarah (Olivia Sweeney), we flash backwards and forwards through a relationship. One moment she’s breaking up with her commitment-phobic boyfriend Danny (Kurt Nikko), the next she is changing her sheets and picking out a dress to wear on her first date with him. Like a fluid jigsaw puzzle, Rebekah Harrison ensures each fractured scene reveals a little more of her characters and their troubles.
Sarah has recently divorced her husband after he cheated on her. She now shares a flat with fun-loving lush Rose (Amy Drake), whom Sarah confides in when she starts to fall for Danny. And it’s Rose’s shoulder she cries on when the relationship seems to be curdling. Danny is more of an enigma. Where does he go when he shoots off at a moment’s notice? Why is he so reluctant to consummate his relationship with Sarah? And who keeps texting him?
When divulged to the audience, these answers are, unfortunately, never quite as interesting as their presentation. It’s likely that the accumulation of mysteries you imagine in your head while this mosaic narrative unfolds are far juicier than what’s revealed. Neither Danny nor Sarah’s behavior ring true, but the play is so fast-paced and the performances so engaging that it’s only after the house lights come up that fissures begin to appear in Harrison’s plot.
The play benefits from two factors: Matt Hassall’s sharp direction (which utilizes subtle lighting changes and music cues to keep the timeframe lucid) and Sweeney's commendable performance. Scenes change at a whip, and so Sweeney, who’s in every scene, changes with them, turning on a dime from euphoria to despair, laughter to sobs. Her frantic turn gives In My Bed its breakneck momentum: she is its beating heart.