Split Infinitive presents the play ‘A Caravan Named Desire’. The experimental piece is performed by married couple Alexander and Helen Millington. The play starts on the premise to curiously unpack the living experience of a sex worker but meanders into the personal journey of the writer/character’s sexual exploration. ‘A caravan named Desire’ is the John Beecher Memorial Award winner for original, challenging work with high production value at the Buxton Fringe Festival.
For time immemorial, men have lied and deceived women to share their stories and services. The play’s premise’s inherent deceit sits uncomfortably and is invisible in the room. Though the play’s premise is attractive, the tension, curiosity and apprehension around sexual exploration falls flat in the latter half. The first half of the play plays with a real-life partner dynamic heightening the tension of the characters. It is the 21st century, and we have so many tools to explore desire and exploration of our bodies. The 36 questions test was written in 1997. Observations like the reality of a sex worker also having to do taxes and living in a caravan are great choices by the writer. However, the play does not explore in depth the inherent guilt, anger that the characters seem to associate with sex.
The play begins with tearing down the fourth wall and having the audience participate in furthering the play’s action. Alexander and Helen are endearing in their characters and support one another aptly in getting this caravan on the road. However, the social realities of sex worker’s lives, and their rights need a more nuanced and intersectional lens to connect deeply with the audience.
Reviewer: Anisha Pucadyil
Reviewed: 11th October 2023
North West End UK Rating: