“It feels a little bit like we’re asked to be the interracial couple”
Both in their 30s and both professors of “obscure versified English”, Jamaican-American Richard and Irish-American Sheryl seem to have it made when they’re asked to take part in a series of ‘bedroom interviews’, the promise of a potential book deal luring them into agreement. Presuming their interracial relationship and their decision to start a family is the reason they’ve been scouted, they jump right into baring their souls to their webcam-based interviewer but soon discover that they’re not quite ready for the answers they’re about to reveal.
Aurin Squires’ Don’t Smoke in Bed is a thrillingly incisive look into what Avenue Q memorably labelled “the sensitive subject of race”. Richard and Sheryl pride themselves on not arguing, rather enjoying having “strong conversations”, though as they begin to delve into the detail of how their partnership works and crucially, expose the perceptions that each has about the way that racial politics – and indeed class – has or hasn’t impacted on their lives, their certainties are crumbled away as brutal honesty corrodes the bonds that had seemed so tight. Continue reading “Review: Don’t Smoke in Bed, Finborough”