A fascinating insight into the world of extramarital sex, No Strings explores the relationship between two strangers who meet for an illicit encounter in a soulless hotel room.
Jamie, a serial adulterer, is looking for a night of `no strings’ sex and a brief escape from the tedium of daily life.
Shona isn’t quite sure what she wants – even though she `met’ Jamie through an internet dating site for married men and women looking to cheat. When their paths cross, the emotional fall-out is brutal and neither escapes unscathed.
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall
August 7 – 29 2015 (not 9,16,23)
8.20pm (ends 9.10pm)
What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a
script or an object?No Strings was inspired by my discovery that a friend had used a “No Strings” website to have an affair. She was/is “happily married” and probably the last person I would have expected to be looking for anonymous sex on the internet. That revelation started me thinking about who uses those internet sites, what brings them to that point and how the whole thing works.
I did some research by signing up to some of the leading "cheating websites" and had some very interesting conversations with several guys! Based on those exchanges (email only!), No Strings was born.
Why bring your work to Edinburgh?
I can't think of anywhere more special than the Edinburgh Festival.
My Grandma lived in Broughton, in the heart of the city, and I grew up with the crowds and the buzz that descended on the city every August. Taking my show to the Fringe is truly a dream come true.
What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?
No Strings doesn't judge the morality of the characters in the play, but they are very complex and flawed as I think most humans are. I hope the audience feel empathy, perhaps discomfort at times, affection as well as feeling privileged in their role as voyeurs for the evening. If the audience leave with conflicting views of what is right, then I will be delighted.
The Dramaturgy Questions
Do you have a particular process of making that you could describe - where it begins, how you develop it, and whether there is any collaboration in the process?
In this case, the play was born from the reality that my friend had been in this situation. I couldn't stop thinking about it and how I would react in that scenario. I started with the first line and the pencil took over.
The first draft was completed over a year ago and I am fortunate to have great support from talented playwrights, actors and directors that I was able to share drafts with as I went. Not to mention my husband who has read every word ever written on No Strings (and still loves it, and I think me!)
What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work?
I'm not sure. I think that will only be obvious when we perform it live. I would hope they would come along in the journey and feel the same emotions as the central characters. In such an intimate setting, they will see and feel the truth on stage. Similarly, I believe the actors will do the same with the audience.
No Strings, an original drama by new writer Carolyn Duffin, explores adult themes of anonymous sex and modern-day affairs fuelled by online sites set up specifically for married people who want to cheat.
Carolyn, who plays Shona, posted her profile on several sites in a bid to understand the motivation of those looking for a fling and the emotional roller-coaster they face.
She says: “I wondered what sort of person does that and how they go about it. The sites were quite predatory and as soon as my profile went up I had scores of hits.
“Most of the guys I chatted to were pretty normal men who were not that happy with their relationships. They didn’t want to leave their wives - they just wanted the excitement back.”
No Strings is directed by acclaimed playwright
Martin J Taylor and also stars George Drever and Kirstin Northcote.
Carolyn says: “There’s a famous quotation by Oscar Wilde which encapsulates the play and the themes it explores.
“`Everything in the world is about Sex except Sex. Sex is about Power.’”