Play Something, Mercury Studio Theatre, Colchester.

THIS is the first in an almost double-bill of new writing by Colchester’s Stage Write Productions.

And if this weekend’s Theory of Nat and Mike by Jazz Ely is half as good as Paul T Davies Play Something, get your tickets now!

Perfectly occupying the Mercury’s new Studio space, Paul’s latest play is a lovingly poignant reflection on one couple’s relationship from their first meeting as young men to their split and then eventual reconciliation many years later.

As the young men Ben Maytham is wonderful as the funny confident gay man, while Jacko Lang electrifies the stage as the copper struggling with his sexuality.

This early part of the play serves up plenty of witty one-liners and tension between the two men but for me the real charm of the story lies with the men in later life.

Now played by the excellent Shane Whitworth and Matt Bradbury, the couple’s enjoyment of life together, now as husband and husband, is rather magical, making the ending all the more hard to bear.

I have a few very minor criticisms. A little too much sexual content and bad language but then may be I’m too much of a prude, and I think possibly the last few scenes were a little bit overplayed, especially considering the fast pace of the rest of the piece.

That aside this really is a lovely examination of what it means to be in love which anyone in a long-term relationship, gay or hetrosexual, cannot help but have a soft spot for.