Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Wow. Well it’s taken me three days to come round after Lady Chatterley’s Lover at the Crucible. I’ve been to the theatre hundreds of times on my life and, while there was a very early play which memorably involved a brief bare bottom, I can’t remember ever having seen much bare flesh on show before. I supposed I should have expected it knowing the plot, but, well, blimey.

About half way through the first act Lady Chatterley got naked. ‘That’s brave’, I thought. Then the feminist in me started to grumble. Maybe this was going to be the sort of production where the leading lady gets her total kit off and the lovely Mellors just strides around with his top off looking rugged. Be careful what you wish for I’d say.

You know the plot of course and it was inevitably going to involve some sex. In fact several times before the characters actually introduced themselves to each other. Nothing says raw magnetism like a grubby gamekeeper hammering a chicken coup. It’s no wonder she couldn’t stop herself.

The first half ended and I think it’s safe to say the audience, many of which were quite elderly ladies, had coped with the nudity and bonking exactly as you’d expect us to. With slightly nervous giggling and sideways glances at our friends. I had to have a second glass of wine.

The second half was when it became evident that I needn’t have worried about naked inequality. Not only did we get to see both main characters totally starkers for a good half an hour but at one point they ran around the stage in a wide circle so every angle was covered, so to speak. It reminded me ever so slightly of the cartoon in the year 6 sex video, only without the peacock feather and quite a bit more jiggling.

At one point the couple sat on the floor (did I mention they were naked?) and placed a small flower in each other’s pubic hair. Mellor’s referred to his ‘John Thomas’ a few times and I quite lost all perspective and started to become fascinated with the minimal set instead.

I haven’t read the book. This may have been the issue. Had I read it maybe I would have seen the flowers in pubic hair coming.

After the show I left a bit confused. The actors could clearly act. If they could act like that naked I’d quite like to see them in something wearing a duffle coat.

Unbelievably brave too. I can’t imagine many roles call for unbridled naked passion on a Tuesday night in front of octogenarians. Surely there must be some kind of theatrical award they could get. Or maybe just the relief of being able to act with clothes on next time will be enough.

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