Frozen April ’18

london west end

I admit I came for Suranne Jones. I wanted to see her live. Of course she was ill/not there and replaced by Roisin Rae who was magnificent as the grieving, desperate mother who tried not to give up hope of finding her 10 year old daughter, neglecting her older daughter.

It takes years but they catch the serial killer, played by Jason Watkins. And by god, but he is brilliant. Pure evil, charming, manipulativ, he portays his character with vicious energy that frightened the living daylights out of me. Nina Sosanya plays the psychologist who tries to evaluate him and battles her own problems after her coworker/mentor/married lover died.

But as I said – it was Watkins who scared me shitless. The play is a nightmare scenario and the audience was riveted and squirming in their seats. I know, I was.  In the best possible way. But I didn’t do stagedoor. I was still too scared😨

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The Best Man April ’18

london west end

 

May the best man win. A democrat and a republican fight for the approval of the US-president for their presidential campaign. The democrat – Martin Shaw – is every democrat’s wet dream, honest to a fault. Jeff Fahey is the intelligent version of Trump, using every dirty trick in the book. In the end, over the dead president, the democrat gives his votes to an unknown candidate, thus outmaneuvering the Trump double. (I wish that had happened in real life as well)

Done in a classical way the play takes place in two realistic hotel suites, and is directed rather uninspired and plain. But Shaw and Fahey, already combattants in 12 angry men, make the play sparkle and work. Their two characters go at each other’s throats and manipulate and fight, and it’s – not least because of the current political climate in the US – with frightening joy the audience watches.

And if I ever find the idiot who wasn’t able to turn his fucking phone off THREE  TIMES I might just shove it up his private parts

Stage door: Jeff Fahey is incredibly charming and friendly and sweet. Martin Shaw signed! Well, for about ten seconds 😉

Strangers in Between Jan, 2018

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An absolute delight. Perfection…

I’m always surprised at how little actors need on a stage to create magic. In this play it is a bathtub, filled with water, which doesn’t really come into play until the very last few scenes. And yet, water does play a significant part throughout the whole story, if you pay attention. So the stage is clear to give the actors free reign of the audience’s imagination.

The play itself has been written by the insanely talented Tommy Murphy, author of the play  Holding the Man, which is an iconic Australian story that has moved people to tears for a decade now. Strangers in Between was written in 2005, a wonderful coming out story in a mostly hostile environment then, now  with marriage equality and equal rights quite firmly in place still an insightful coming of age story that has gained approval of both male and female, gay and straight audiences as a sign of just how timeless the language of this play turns out to be. (One of my seat partners was a young Indian man who saw a play, any play for the very first time. By the end of the show he said to me, but this is a play about gay men, how can you enjoy it as much as I? No, it is a play about humanity, about family and about friendships and that doesn’t change no matter it you are straight or, indeed, gay. He was quite puzzled by that I think 😉 )

The play itself was perfectly cast – yes, I’m biased, but hear me out: The three actors made me want to hug troubled Ben and have a night out with charismatic Will, made me want to mother young Shane and move in with Peter to just sit at his feet and have Chardonnay and good food. Guymond Simon took on two parts, Will with a rakish smile and oozing charm, and the deeply disturbed Ben, Wil King is Shane, the naive, clueless, big eyed and enthusiastic country boy who almost gets lost in the Cross in Sydney and Simon Burke is the mother figure with his self deprecating wit, his knowledge and his undeniable charm, who finally takes Shane under his wing to prevent him from falling prey to unsavoury characters. The Age called him a gay Obi wan Kenobi and I hate them for coining the phrase before I could. It is his empathy, his mastery of his craft. that shines through his scenes and had me truly moved (must have been pollen in the air in that theatre, surely)

The story: Shane, from some nondescript rural background, lands in Sydney’s The Cross, 2005 the steaming centre of gay culture. Barely two weeks later he works in a bottle-o (a shop that sells alcohol), no idea how to work the till, no idea what to tell people. In comes Will and he seems to be everything Shane has ever dreamt of. Charismatic, funny, good looking – and interested in him. There’s also Peter, in search of something nasty for his sister who’s a pain in the ass, who immediately picks up on the vibes between the two.

Neither of the men knows, but this is the beginning of new friendships, a new family even for this uprooted youngster.

Shane and Peter meet again in a bar – Shane clinging to a glass of water, while Peter, at home at the office, as he calls the bar, has a bottle of Chardonnay. With sweet naivete and the almost manic persistence of a puppy, Shane questions poor Peter about everything: where to keep honey (in the fridge? I don’t have a fridge!), what about laundry softener (on the shelf will do… ) , where to get coat hangers, would Peter please accompany him home because he likes company… yes, he is gay  (it’s good to say it), , are YOU gay???? Well, yes I am. You can say it here without being beaten (oh you can say it ANYwhere nowadays, the slightly annoyed answer of Peter) why do you hate your sister? (remember the nasty wine at the bottle-o)

And all of a sudden and probably for the first time a disarmed Peter opens up about his mother’s dementia and that they had to put her into a nursing home and the sister treating her mother as if she was the mother and their mother the child…there is so much remorse but also sadness about the inability to cope with all of it. They sit, then Shane says … so, what  about anal sex? The look on Peter’s face as he is questioned about this …  a priceless piece of acting that’ll stay with me forever.

So poor Shane, slightly more streetsavvy now, catches a sexually transmitted disease (something very bad) from Will. When he’s finally ready to face that fact, he goes to Peter who has taken to feeding him regularly, once again trying to ask him for company. But this time, over a glass of wine, and while venting about Will, who hasn’t called or come back for a while, the conversation gets more and more erotic. With breathless admiration and in vivid detail Shane recalls the way Will looked and smelled and acted, not realising – or maybe yes, realising and trying out just how far he can go – what effect that has on his friend. When he stands up, slowly opening  his belt buckle, Peter gets to his knees almost in supplication, hands shaking, face alight with – – – and then Shane screams at him – he’s only 16, and it works like a cold shower on Peter. Something has triggered the boy, he hurts Peter, accusing him of vile things, until Peter can’t take it anymore and, tears in his eyes, throws him out.

Ben is in town. Ben, the brother who had beaten him when he caught Shane and his friend kissing. Ben, who was successful in sports, especially swimming. Ben who dismisses accusations of a young girl, that their swim trainer had assaulted her, as lies. Ben who loved the water and wanted to spend all of his time in the pool. Ben who – it breaks out of him pained – himself was assaulted and Shane watched it once.  Ben, who follows Shane into the drycleaners and into his locked apartment.  (I was afraid of Ben. I was actually really scared of Ben. Great work by Guymond who has only a different shirt to help create Ben.)

When Shane has reached the end of his rope, his STD spreading, his job gone, his lover Will abandoning him, he turns to Peter again. We’re mates, mates fight and are okay again – that’s what his brother taught him after all … I got an STD, a bad one. Peter’s face falls, his eyes mist up. Which one? Warts! (he says it with all the drama a 16 year old is capable of, and that is a LOT) and Peter breaks out laughing: WARTS???!!!!

He is going to go with Shane to the hospital appointment because they are friends, because they are family. And because Shane will need someone if he’s too “spasticated” from the meds. It’s what family does. And he is. Will is there, to help him into a hot salt bath after his operation, Peter is providing food and water and the bath, for that matter, and it seems that everybody has matured, has gained new insights, new perspectives on life. Will is behaving like a friend, not just a two time lover. Shane has decided to go back to school, and to face his fears and call home to make peace with Ben. And Peter, Peter had been cooking a curry, a recipy his mother had sent him years ago. Was in a kitchen drawer, fell out – purely coincidental – just one hour before the call came. Peter’s mother had died in her nursing home.
And he finally admits, to himself as much as to Shane and Will, that he was sad he couldn’t be more of a son to her. Because no matter what happened before, it is a duty – that when we are young, they take care of us, and when they are old, we take care of them. The remorse, the frustration, the sadness, all that so palpable, so real. (yes, pollen alert, my eyes teared up) And so Shane offers to come with Peter to the funeral, so that he doesn’t have to fly home alone.

Friendships forged in fire. And because of that a play that is timeless, also thanks to the beautiful rhythm of the language used, four different sets of instruments coming together in harmony.

As always, Simon Burke is amazing as Peter. It’s the little things, you know. The way he stands, walks, a gesture, his expressions, all that adds layers to his character. There’s scenes when he talks about his cat – the slut, which then vanishes, probably dies – that broke my heart. He made this character human.

I wish I could have seen it not just in Melbourne, but in Sydney as well. Damn, but it was brilliant and I loved it so much!

 

interview Simon Burke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Treatment Apr. ’17

london west end

Anna (Aisling Loftus) has a story to tell.

We are in the minimalist office of a pair of filmmakers Jennifer (Indira Varma) , clearly the more driven part of this work and pivate relationship,  and Andrew (Julian Ovendon), the more hedonistic part, where they both try to find a new treatment for a movie.

There’s Clifford (Ian Gelder) , who once wrote a play that made it to broadsway and since then has written a new play each year in the hopes of recapturing his erstwhile success. He lives for this but has to sell his last valuables just in order to survive,  not that he would  actually say that, even though he tells everybody who stops at his flea market stand his story.

The story he wants to sell to Jennifer and Andrew for quite a while now, is about an artist who paints a pair of lovers after he watches their love making with  their consent. When he is run over by a bus, his apartment is sold to a religious woman, who, after discovering his secret studio, destroys his masterpieces because they offend her religion.

Anna’s story is different.  She tells about her life, clearly traumatised, of being tied to a  chair by her husband, being worshipped, being told stories. Not being allowed outside… Jennifer tries to spicen up the tale by alleged sexual assaul, violence, but Anne is adamant:  nothing like it happened.  She’s just being kept like a treasure in a safe place.

As she tries to run, she meets an apparently blind taxi driver, who navigates the streets of New York seemingly by sound only. Still, he’s sunny and friendly, an aberration in an otherwise cold world.

It’s now that Jennifer and Andrew call Clifford to get Anne’s story in the form of a treatment. The story has already changed significantly due to Clifford’s input, and the ideas a director – apparently Jennifer’s ex lover – offers.

By the time Andrew seduces Anna while Clifford is watching in the shadows, Anna’s story has merged into Clifford’s story and taken on a new life. A life Anna hadn’t lived. A life distorted from reality. It’s then Anna’s husband finds her, changed, more mentally hurt and violated  than before,  and he accepts her challenge. He blinds Clifford to avenge Anna.

The movie is a huge success. Jennifer basks in it until she realises that her secretary,  who played Anna, is the star – and the director’s new fling. Andrew is on his way to search for Anna.  He finds her, sitting in a chair as if bound, waiting for her husband to come and cook for her. When he arrives a fight breaks out and she flees this violence.  A gunshot rings. Jennifer has killed Anna. Her panic had made her blind to the fact that it was Anna running towards her.

The blind cab driver has a new client. A client he’s very proud to have. It’s Clifford who finally and thanks to his script for the movie is famous again.

How do we perceive truth. Is my version of my truth the right one or even the only one? How much are we all influenced by preconceived notions of “truth”? How much are we letting ourselves be influenced by the truths od others? Hwo much are we destroying others when we pin our truths onto them?

The play gives us a lot of questions and some answers but it is the actors who make us believe and think and feel with them. Indira Varma as the cool, high heeled domina like interrogator was just brilliant. Julian Ovendon creeped me out – so that’s  a thumbs up as well. I liked Aisling Loftus but got put off by some of her mannerisms she probably created for her character. And I absolutely adored  Ian Gelder, who incorporated the needy, talkative, lonely writer, who who had to sacrifice his sight for his lifelong dream. There’s a scene where the cast is celebrating and dancing – utter perfection.

Yup, saw it more than once. Even met Ben Daniels, when I  tried to not fall out of a taxi, when he was in the audience just like me.

Richard III March ’17

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Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain

About a prophecy, which says that ‘G’
Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be.
With these words Gloucester introduces himself to his audience, a crippled man, unloved, unsightly and unattractive, yet charming, oh so charming when needs be, and cruel and calculating in order to get what he wants, what he sees as his birthright.

Once again Richard was cast with a woman, the incredibly awesome Kate Mulvany, and once again the audience forgets that a woman is playing a man’s part because as it often is with Shakespeare’s characters, it is the archetype of someone lusting after power, after approval, after recognition that becomes a character – and because Mulvany is just so brilliant in the part. While baring her soul to her opponents, Mulvany literally bares all, standing naked, with just a loincloth like panty, back to the audience, proudly in front of a phalanx of Lords and Ladies, and shocks them into silence. A mesmerising scene.

10 people on stage, waiting in the richly decked out salon, where the play takes place, the men taking on multiple parts, interchangeable just as their hunger for power is. The women play one part each, though, their motivations are allowed to change. Whenever a battle scene is on, we see – in slow motion – a wild almost orgy like festivity play out in this salon. First I didn’t like that, I was too caught up in the “traditional” way of portraying the battles, but in retrospect I think the idea to not move from that salon is genius. The hatred, the scheming and the fights can be identical, no matter what kind of battlefield you choose.

When Richard finally dies because everybody turns against him and his cruel reign (and isn’t it fascinating that hundreds of years after this was written the world waits for exactly this kind of end to yet another nepotistic dictator? nothing changes, it seems), Shakespeare gives him the most pathetic words: A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse. And then Richard is killed.

Not so in this version (and I freely admit I had to look it up and found it in the Sydney Morning Herald – thank you for that!): because Kate Mulvany – who also directed (is there anything this woman can’t do???? she is marvellous!) – gives Richard a final chance to explain himself, to make him understood, even pitied even though pity is probably the last thing he wants. With a monologue plucked from the last act of Henry VI, part III she shows us his warped soul, his defiance, his non-acceptance of his defeat and his final pride:

“I have no brother, I am like no brother;

And this word ‘love,’ which graybeards call divine,

Be resident in men like one another

And not in me: I am myself alone.”

***

standing ovations were had. and rightfully so. Ms Mulvany is incredible, as is her direction. I hope she’s on stage again the next time I’m in Sydney. I will make time for whatever play she’s in.

Chimerica March ’17

theatre misc

 

Chimerica – a fusion of the words China and America coined by academic historian Niall Ferguson and economist Moritz Schularick to signal the intertwined economies of those two countries (watch the pronounciation!) – is not just a play about that iconic photography of a man standing in front of Chinese tanks at Tien an men in Beijing. (click on this link for the original coverage by CNN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeFzeNAHEhU ). In fact, this picture is just a starting point for how much the US and China are diverted by culture, by upbringing and by social norms.

It all starts 20 years ago, when young Joe (Mark Leonard Winter, whose character is given his name to reflect the “average Joe” moniker often given to Americans in general), a photographer on his first boring assignment – an economy conference – in Beijing, is caught in the riots of Tien an men and by pure luck looks out the window of his hotel room just in time to see a single man, holding a plastic bag in each of his hands, standing defiantly in front of the rolling tanks, forcing them to avert him. He takes a photo and quick witted hides the film in the toilet.

At home in the US he is immediately famous. In America the lonely man facing the force of China’s army is a symbol of a new dawn in a dark country, the force of the people against an oppressive regime, something that fits the narrative of the US perfectly.

20 years later, now, Joe is still in touch with his then interpreter Zhang Lin (played by Jason Chong), having been back in China often, yet still not speaking the language… Zhang Lin teaches English in Beijing, trying to instill a feeling of freedom in his students, but mostly being a bit weird, shouting from rooftops (literally). He lives next door to a woman with a severe lung infection caused by working in bad conditions. When she dies, he tries to make the government change said conditions. He’d be in need of some backing, but Joe doesn’t get that he’s supposed to help Zhang Lin. Joe hasn’t had any new successes – he still lives off that one photo he had taken in that hotel room decades ago. When a cryptic message shows up in a newspaper, Joe hopes to finally find that elusive stranger.

Back in Beijing we see in flashbacks, how that photo came to pass: Boy meets Girl at one of the student protests there. Boy and Girl fall in love. Girl gets pregnant, they are happy. But then they get caught in the riots, the girl is hurt badly, dies at the hospital. a tired nurse hands the boy two plastic bags with the girl’s clothes, her shoes, the necklace he gave her. With a bag in each hand he walks away, numb, finds himself standing in front of tanks without even realising it.

While in the US, Joe follows lead after lead until he finds the owner of a flower stand, who seems to be connected to the “brave man in the photo”. It turns out the brave man was his son, riding the tank, not standing in front of it,  avoiding collision with a lunatic. And while China spun a story about how humane its army was, the young man driving the tank was later shot because he didn’t roll over the protester.

The audience, of course, knows – thanks to the flashbacks – that Zhang Lin was the brave young man in the photo, something Joe would’ve caught on as well, had he even tried to learn more about his interpreter who had been a friend to him even when they sent him to prison for “colluding” with Joe.

So we look at two lives at dead ends – one in democratic America, where you have to follow orders given to you because of monetary motifs in a more concealed way perhaps, just like in “non-democratic” China. Who are we to say that Democracy as we know it – being executed by rich white men – is so much better or so much more just than any other form of rulership?

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The play doesn’t give us answers, but asks great questions and did have great impact on me. With the help of personal stories (Joe’s finding and losing love, Zhang Lin’s having and losing all hope) it depicts the differences but more often the commonalities of two only outwardly different countries that probably won’t ever understand each other.  I didn’t warm up to the actors that much, though. I “recognised” Joe’s failures from a lot of distant colleagues, who live off lost glory, but Mark Winter didn’t make me care about him, he rather instilled a vague feeling of discomfort in me. I rather sided with Jason Chong, who did capture the life of someone who was eaten by his grief very well.

All in all it was another great night of theatre thanks to the Sydney Theatre Company in the Roslyn Packer Theatre. If you ever get there, try the restaurant. They serve yummie stuff!

 

 

The Homosexuals or Faggots, March ’17

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Please, dear reader, bear with me. I have the ultimate pleasure to see this play multiple times, thoroughly enjoying it every time and being totally overwhelmed by the sheer talent of Simon Burke. Yes, I am a fan, but I think I would be able to be critical as well. It’s just … he – and the cast as well – are amazing.

The play by Declan Greene is new, strives, and succeeds, to be provocative, is over the top crude at times, but drives home its points with directness that sometimes hurts. Because it’s not just “Homosexuals” that recognise themselves in the words of the play. If we all listen closely, we all recognise ourselves to a degree.

You see, it’s all about Warren (Simon Burke) . He is a successful blogger (thedailybulge.com and yes, there are various blogs of that name but sadly none of them is affiliated to the play), he owns an apartment in tres chic Darlinghurst, he’s happily married and quite admired for his erotic photography. At least that’s the picture he presents to the world.

The opening scene lays the grounds for what’s going to come. A very upset Warren tells us about this dreadful evening he’d had. Husband Kim dutifully delivers encouragement and the proper adjectives. Because it’s been a farce! First paying 120 dollars for tickets to impress Warren’s guests from Yahoo (big deal), then sitting through an – English – farce with according to Warren only one redeeming scene (which Kim didn’t like at all), and finally trying to find some food at 11pm in The Cross in Darlinghurst. They make it to a British pub and there it was. In the menue. Written there between Spotted Dick and Wiggly Squids: Faggots! A farce, really. Slurred at by a menue!!! Both Warren and Kim take immediate offense which results in a flying plate, an enraged pub owner (they’re minced liver meatballs!) and a devastated Warren feeling powerless (Kim: you felt impotent.. Warren: NOT impotent, just to clarify!!!) . They decide to boycott the place.

Fast forward months to Mardi Gras in Sydney. Warren has invited a gorgeous Twink (a twentysomething year old straight boy) to do a “photoshoot” he clearly wants to expand into something else. But while the unsuspecting Lucacz tells stories about how he and his model agency friends had been hiking naked and then drove home – naked (and Warren has no idea how to hide his naked lust) – Kim comes home early from a summit, because he had been cyberbullied. So in between hiding the Twink, ushering Kim upstairs and having to take up an interview with Bae Bae, a highly political blogger with a web series, Warren is being tugged in every direction. Only with the help of his old friend Diana he manages to avert immediate crisis, but it doesn’t end there. Bae Bae turns out to be the bully that had hurt Kim. Kim suspects – correctly – that husband Warren had more in mind than just a photoshoot, and had forbidden Warren’s hobby when they married (It’s not even legal, some dyke wooshed a stick over you both on the beach, ladida, says Diana) and Lucacz has lost his baggie of cocaine in the folds of the couch.

Bae Bae turns out to be half blind and only thus another terrible crisis is averted, because the internet VIP takes offence at anything even remotely racist. Luckily she has to run out in support of a friend surrounded by the village people.

The parade starts (and can only be seen from a window over the loo in the bathroom) so everyone still present runs in there.

Enter a burglar. By now Warren – trying to convince Kim he didn’t have a photoshoot planned – wears a too small police costume, Kim has donned a Caitlyn Jenner costume, Diana wants to go to the politically incorrect party a friend is throwing and the burglar looks just like Bae Bae and has lost her previous job as a sous chef because some idiot threw a hissy fit and the pub had to close down because of a boycott.

Lukacz comes back for his “baggie”. Unfortunately the burglar was faster, the coke is gone. Madness reaches its farcical boiling point with doors opening and smashing closed, a couch turning into a wall and hiding people, and the kitchen going up in flames. Warren and Kim’s quarrelling reaches another highpoint when Kim throws mashed potatoes in Warren’s face and knees him in the balls. Those mashed potatoes make another appearance when Lucacz, being jewish, empties the bowl over Kim in his Hitler Drag Queen costume. and then Bae Bae comes back.

And everything is lost. Yahoo won’t be supporting Warren any longer. Diana is deeply hurt not just by Warren’s broken promise to go with her to the party. She fumes about how  both Warren and Kim have left their LGBT family behind to become one of Them. One of the wealthy married people who moan about how hard they have it – even though they have it all – a life none of them could even picture in the 80ies when they buried two or three friends a week at the height of the Aids-epidemic.

When Diana runs out of the apartment, doors banging, the life Warren had, crumbles around him. Kim desperately invokes their broken love, and that they must stick together, and clean up the apartment. But Warren is just sitting there, in the midst of the shattered remnants of his life, everything gone that he cared for, his life with Kim a lie. Tears are streaming down his face as the stage grows slowly dark.

++++

Farce is probably the most complicated form of theatre to play. If the timing is off, it doesn’t work. If one of the actors tries to be funny, it doesn’t work. If the darkness of/in the end doesn’t come, it doesn’t work.

that said: this farce ticked all the boxes. The cast is fantastic.

I’ll start with Diana – Genevieve Lemon. Her Bill Cosby is a riot. Her monologue at the beginning of the dark end is amazing. The way she goes from hysterically funny to broken by memories and feeling left out by her best friend is an amazing display of her talent.

Bae Bae – Mama Alto – fuck, she’s good as Bae Bae. Yes, words hurt. They have meaning. They are worth fighting for. Awareness is a must in times like these. We all must be alert. I hear, she worked with Declan Greene (the writer) on her part. Damn, she’s talented.

Mama Alto also was the drug addled burglar who looked unbelievably like Bae Bae, thus adding to the farce. I do admit that she did seem a bit too over the top sometimes, but her talent made up for that. I like her a lot and hope that I’ll be able to see her in her “natural environment” as a singer/entertainer sometime soon.

Lucacz – Lincoln Younes – it’s his first theatrical adventure (he’s been highly successful on TV) and he brings all the goodies a “Twink” needs – he has a body to die for, he oozes charm and he’s quite sexy when he’s freaking out on stage. Almost with wonder he confessed at opening night that he realised only during rehearsals that he could actually play with different aspects of his part and he seems to be doing a great job so far, even when he’s realising something doesn’t work and thankfully ditching that in the next show.

Kim – Simon Corfield – he’s portraying that really whiney overly sensitive femme man where everyone’s wondering – given Warren’s preference for young, sexy jewish boys – why he ended up getting married to him. Somehow he feels like the weakest part of the cast, trying to overplay more often than not, and I wonder if it’s an instruction from the director ( who is doing an amazing job, btw – she’s incredibly gifted and the way she’s steering everyone else I think it’s not her directing. Lee Lewis did a magnificent job, and jokingly referred to directing a farce as the anarchy of the rehearsal room). I have the suspicion, that anarchy might have taken over Kim.

Now finally to Warren – Simon Burke. His part is the Lothario of the farce, the charming adulterer, the man who has it all, wants more and loses everything in the process. His comedic timing is impeccable. He is everywhere at once, barely leaving the stage and even breaking the fourth wall in a funny, desperately charming way that makes you understand why everyone is always forgiving him. He does it with an almost magical easiness and skill that is a joy to watch. Yes, he’s playing a “bad” character, but he does it in a way that has you forget his flaws. And when his career, his life finally collapses, the emotion, the sadness, the loss is there in his eyes and his demeanour. There is that one scene at the end where Kim asks him “have you learned your lesson” – and his up to this point heartfelt sorrow for causing so much pain drains away in moments until he finally, much colder, says “Yes”. It seems the last straw his husband is dealing him – when he sits down, tucking his feet under him, hugging his legs, it is clear that he has nothing more to give, no love, no regret, no feeling at all, but also that he can no longer take love – he is utterly alone. Something has died inside him as he looks at his life that is lost and shattered. And his tears mourn more than just the loss of his apartment.

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also I want to thank the theatre and the theatre family at the Griffin – they treated little old me like royalty and I admit I enjoyed that so much! xxx

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This is what Lee Lewis had to say in the program:

This play is a cluttered, messy,cruel modern farce. And right now, in the

midst of the anarchy of the rehearsal
room I am hating both the form and the
playwright: the form for embracing
implausibility and props, and the
playwright for leaving me with no choice
but to put these issues on the stage. If
Declan Greene had a less urgent voice, my
life would be a lot simpler this week.
Declan (has an) extraordinary capacity to detail the humiliations
and horrors of ordinary modern urban existence. His
writing is challenging for actors and audience alike. It
requires a deep honesty about frailty and pretension. It is
painful to make… and not just because of all the slamming
of doors. It is painful because it requires us all to dip into
the ‘well of worst moments’ in order to bring the best
moments of the play to life.
Yes there are big contemporary political issues wrapped
around the play but the heart of the story is filled with love,
age, friendship, the crises of choice and the horror of
mistakes.
The Homosexuals, or ‘Faggots’
dissects the
aspirations of coupledom but with the scalpel of farce.
Everyday at work is like entering the humiliation Olympics.
+++
At the Q&A after one of the shows, (I think it was) Lincoln who said that in ten years’ time we’ll look back at this play and see how far we’ve come – and if we haven’t come this far, how much we failed.