"..slow to get going but while a friendship between the two mean seems inevitable from the outset it is the depth of that friendship and subsequent threat to it that holds the play's power."
Samuel Barnett's Molina is recalling the plot line of one of his favourite romantic thriller films, the shadows of the characters he describes appear as projections on the walls around him.
It's the 1970s and the two men are locked in an Argentinian cell together.
Valentin is a tough, no-nonsense, left-wing political prisoner and Molina is camp and has been convicted of gross indecency.
And yet, despite their differences and Valentin's complaints you know that deep down he actually quite enjoys the distraction from the tedium of prison-life.
But as differences defrost and friendship warms a spider threatens the web of this new friendship.
On the one hand, this is a play about how we aren't so different after all, how we have the same desires and needs and on the other, it is a play about trust, loyalty and the price of freedom.
It is also about survival.
Kiss of The Spider Woman, here adapted from Manuel Puig's original by José Rivera and Allan Baker, is slow to get going but while a friendship between the two mean seems inevitable from the outset it is the depth of that friendship and subsequent threat to it that holds the play's power.
The last time I found myself so compelled to watch an actor 'just' listening was watching Ben Whishaw in Against at the Almeida and I said in my review that he was a really good listener and Sam Barnett is too.
Molina is the more interesting character. His kindness towards Valentin and his persistence are endearing which makes what happens to Valentin all the more painful to watch.
However, there is also something more complex going with Molina which only the unfolding narrative reveals.
It is an hour and 45 minutes without an interval and I'm giving it four stars. It runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory until May 5.