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How my ‘Seven Year Itch’ pain inspired our show

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus member Stephen Tucker argues you shouldn’t take rash decisions when your relationship faces a rocky patch
Brighton Gay Men's Chorus' new show is about the Seven Year Itch phenomenon.
Photo by Matt Jones.

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus has now existed for seven years and that prompted us to consider the ‘Seven Year Itch’ as a storyline for our latest summer show.

In our story the central couple, Richard and Julian, have, reached a critical point in their relationship. Julian wants to settle down, Richard hankers after greater excitement. Offered a new job abroad, Richard has to decide whether to leave his lover and the Chorus. Then he is visited by a series of mysterious men, who make him question whether leaving would really change his life for the better.

It was the 1955 film starring Marilyn Monroe that popularized the idea that the Seven Year Itch referred to someone abandoning a relationship and over time this idea has gained credence.

The film’s central character is about to publish a book suggesting that, after seven years of marriage, men start looking at other options. They have an itch to scratch. It is the point when couples have been together so long that they are bored with their partner, they miss being single, the freedom of having no strings attached and they fancy something different.

For me, such an itch struck after nine years, when I was greeted one night with the words, ‘I just feel there has to be more to life than this.’ Ten years younger, he felt that he had missed out on a life that I had already had.

My love for him was such that, at the time, I would have accepted any compromise, after all, I argued, other couples manage the balance between individual independence and commitment to the core relationship magnificently.

His idealism, however, dictated that any commitment he made had to be absolute. He was almost certainly more realistic than I about my ability to manage this, and the likelihood that I would have become resentful of the independence I was offering or fear its consequences.

Either way, the last thing I wanted was for him to be unhappy but my own instinct was to build on what we had together, that it was not a stark choice between sink or swim. It is on this idea that we have based the story of the upcoming Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus show entitled Seven Year Itch: No Rash Decisions.

Brighton Gay Men's Chorus will be performing in Seven Year Itch: No Rash Decisions this Friday and Saturday (3 and 4 August) at 8pm in St George's Church, St George's Road, Kemptown, Brighton, UK.

We will be singing an array of suitably themed hit songs such as Total Eclipse of the Heart, Someone Like You and Enough Is Enough. Tickets costing £12 or £10 for concessions are available via brightongmc.org.

Funds are also being raised during the shows for local charity Shine Theatre Trust (for special needs and able bodied children).

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