With a title like “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play),” it’s easy to think that this might be the most risqué play ever mounted by Repertory Philippines in its 50-year history. Written by the fastrising playwright Sarah Ruhl (her past credits include The Clean House, Eurydice,
Passion Play), In the Next Room is a sex comedy set in the 1880s—a period when the dawn of electricity other advances in technology radically changed people’s beliefs, morals, and way of life. As ridiculous as it may seem to modern audiences, the premise of the play is based on something some doctors believed at the time—that hysteria, among other ailments, in women could be cured with the medically supervised use of a vibrator. In the play we meet Dr. Givings, a gynecologist who invents the machine. His wife Catherine has recently given birth and soon becomes jealous of a new patient, Sabrina Daldry, who receives the revolutionary treatment hoping to alleviate her joyless marriage and sex life. The arrival of a wet nurse, brought in to supplement the milk supply of the Givings’ child, further draws Catherine’s ire. Though there’s a lot to laugh about, the play, directed by Chris Millado, ultimately enlightens the audience with its musings on intimacy and the nature of true love. Ongoing until April 23, Greenbelt Onstage, 2nd floor, Greenbelt 1, Makati; 843.3570; tickets available through TicketWorld, 891.9999, ticketworld.com.ph; repertoryphilippines.ph.