Steven Pacey in Things We Do For Love

Review by Jenni Alison

Oh Frabjuous day! After spending 2 weeks ringing up every day to check for returned tickets, I call up a 5.30 on the last night that the show runs in Guildford, and pick up 2 tickets in the stalls!!! Oh Joy, Oh Rapture! 7 rows from the front, and in the middle too. Show starts at 8pm, so it's bath and change and makeup time. I've no idea what the play's about, but Tarrant is in it, so it must be good. Wiz down to Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre to mingle with the great and good in the bar - everyone's in suits, very posh!

For those who will be going to see the play, and don't want it spoiled in advance, I'll just say Steven has a beard! Lovely and silky looking, really suits him actually, although unlike many it doesn't change his appearance much. Tragically, he's thinning at the back a little (only a little, and he's still got *lots* of hair), but he's still very attractive, and he has nice smile lines around the eyes. To tempt the ladies some more, you will see his naked upper torso - run and buy those tickets quickly. It is great fun, very light hearted, and brilliantly acted, of course.

Steven Pacey plays Hamish, the fiancee of the rather dippy Nikki (Serena Evans). Barbara (Jane Asher) is an uptight, extremely scary and intimidating career woman with no love life, and an perfectionist attitude to tidiness. Barbara rents out the basement flat to Gilbert (Barry McCarthy), and endearing, very talkative handyman/Postman, who is always keen to help others out (and talk them to death). Barbara rents out the upstairs flat temporarily to Nikki and Hamish while they wait for their new house to be ready to occupy. The character of Nikki is of a bubbly, affectionate but rather childish woman, with a history of choosing unfortunate partners in her love life. Barbara is Nikki's friend from school, someone Nikki looked up to and had a crush on, and on whom she has leaned in times of crisis (by letter). Barbara is self sufficient, aggressively independent, and very repressed.

Barbara and Nikki renew their friendship, while waiting for Hamish to arrive (about 10 minutes spent in breathless anticipation in my case). When he does, he is introduced as a Scottish man (Steven does a great job of a light Scottish accent all through the play) with questionable taste in clothes, who has something of a short temper, and is vegetarian. Hamish tries to get on with Barbara, but it's hate at first sight.

Without giving the whole plot away, the story revolves around Hamish and Barbara's changing relationship, and the way that affects her relationship with Nikki. Gilbert is the basement lodger with an obsesive interest in Barbara.

The play was really great. Very funny, with some fantastic moments. Gilbert in a Nicolle Farhi (sp? who cares) dress, showing his undies had everyone howling with laughter, there's a great discussion about the merits and demerits of vegetarianism (and as completely pointless and lacking in logic as most of those discussions are) which is brilliantly observed, and very funny. Also Stephen Pacey hitting a door and yelling "Fucking Bitch" was very effective - made me jump! Seening Nikki be coy when all you could see was her feet was great - I've never seen anyone act with their feet before.

Looking at Steven Pacey's body - well, I've got to cover that, havn't I? Because the set shows the bed "upstairs" above the living room of the middle flat, you can see the bed, and about 1 foot of space - enough to see legs (very nice) with socks on (not so nice) and sheets and blankets moving about. Still, nice image. At one point, Steven starts undressing and we can see - Off with his tie, and his shirt, still wearing trousers, shoes and socks. I think physically he's actually improved since B7 days. He's still very tall (he always has to stoop and bend his knees to kiss his ladyfriends in the play) and slim, but he's got a much broader chest and shoulders than he did, which makes him much more impressive. No sign of any middleage spread to speak of, and he definately has decent pectorals and biceps. Some definition of the shoulder muscles too! Really very nice. He looks fairly hangdog for a fair part of the play, and we never get to see that Tarrant smile, but I can promise you that he can flash those blue eyes just as effectively from 20 feet away now, as he did 18 years ago in a close up. Wow, his eyes are just sooooo blue.

Watching Steven Pacey Kiss. Well, again, very nice. That beard looks very strokable, and he still has those disheveled curly locks. When he kisses his partner it's not the passionate focussed kiss that we expect from Avon, but more of a romantic kiss. A kiss that says "tell me how you want me to kiss you". However, his portrayal of Lust was most believable (and enjoyable).

I'll end by saying that if you like to see Tarrant abused, you can watch him suffer somewhat in this play - he gets hit, kicked, and his more tender masculine parts get abused. Lots more material for you authors who make your hero suffer.

See it. It was great fun.


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Last updated on 03rd of October 1999.