Like Pinter's Betrayal, Pamela Carter's Skåne follows the story of an extramarital affair in reverse order, but here both Malin (Helen Schlesinger) and Christian (Jethro Skinner) have left families behind, and the story is more about how the pair running away together affected their spouses and children. So we open at the end of the affair, with both families at the breakfast table discussing what happened, and how everything will go back to normal from now on. We end with the two naked in a hotel room having just run off - i.e. for the benefit of the easily-outraged there's both aand aBoth scenes see them agreeing that this is where they should really be. In between we see Christian's wife Siri (Federay Holmes) find and contact Malin's family, and the way the families deal with each other, the sexual relationship behind their meeting bleeding into how they interact as well; Siri and Kurt (John Paul Connolly) considering revenge-sex, the two families' teenage kids (a believable pair in Michael Karim and Shannon Tarbet) almost certainly having sex and filming it. The Swedish setting is only really apparent in the moody atmosphere, enhanced by the slow scene-changes director Tim Carroll has the actors make across the traverse stage (a pretty popular staging at the moment but one that seemed to BLOW THE MIND of an American man sitting a few seats away from me.) The performances are all very good, including from Theo Stevenson (alternating with Shanu Hazzan) as Malin's younger son, and the hour-long play is atmospheric and never dull but I didn't entirely engage with it emotionally.
Skåne by Pamela Carter is booking until the 26th of November at Hampstead Theatre's Michael Frayn Space.