Tag Archives: Jamie Platt

Gently Down the Stream

Park Theatre

Gently Down the Stream

Gently Down the Stream

Park Theatre

Reviewed – 17th February 2019



“deeply personal, yet universal; beautifully crafted, yet natural and full of love”


There are some extraordinary theatrical experiences that move you so much that you want everybody to share them. This is one of them. Gently Down the Stream is written from the heart with such genuine feeling and soul that it gets inside you, taking you on a journey full of laughter, tears and hopeful joy.

Martin Sherman wanted to write a play that looked at the changes in gay lifestyle during his lifetime, but couldn’t figure out how to go about it until, one day when shopping for groceries, he got the idea of setting the story around an intergenerational relationship. The play takes place in West London over a thirteen year period, from 2001 to 2014, starting at the beginning of the relationship between sixty two year old Beau and twenty-eight year old Rufus. Rufus’ desire to learn about Beau’s life and his experiences on the gay scene take the audience on a voyage from New Orleans, where he grew up, through New York, Paris and London, from the forties on. As the love between Beau and Rufus develops they deal with their own personal demons, against the background of memory and history, until Harry arrives in their lives and changes everything.

Sherman says “I would write about a generation of gay men – my generation – that was brought up to believe they weren’t allowed to love, who now had to deal with a young generation that had no doubt but that they had every right to love.” His writing is deeply personal, yet universal; beautifully crafted, yet natural and full of love.

Jonathan Hyde’s Beau is touching and very funny. Beau’s life story takes us through iconic moments in gay history and intensely personal memories, and Hyde thoroughly inhabits the role. If his accent seems, at times, to slip, it doesn’t matter. He is outstandingly real and believable. Rufus is played by Ben Allen with energy and charm. He breathes new life into Beau, showing him new possibilities as he learns about the past. Harry Lawtey brings humour and a delightful freshness to the role of Harry, changing the relationship between Beau and Rufus, and opening the way for other kinds of love.

Director Sean Mathias is a long term friend of the writer, and he has worked with Sherman and his cast to produce an unforgettable piece of theatre. The set, designed by Lee Newby, is a living room with a stairs leading to an upper hallway, a perfect home for Beau, giving a sense of his character through his furniture and possessions. Jamie Platt’s lighting and Lex Kosanke’s sound design meld together, adding to the atmospheric background of the play.

Gently Down the Stream is an important piece of work that tells a story that we need to know. A story of how gay men have come from a world where their lives and loves were illegal, to a world where they can marry and raise children together. There is still homophobia, there are still battles to be won, but this journey through a history that includes Stonewall and AIDS, is a triumphant one. In this play, that is universal and deeply personal, Beau, Rufus and Harry show us how love has many forms, and is at the heart of a life well lived.


Reviewed by Katre

Photography by Marc Brenner


Gently Down the Stream

Park Theatre until 16th March


Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
The Other Place | ★★★ | September 2018
And Before I Forget I Love You, I Love You | ★★★★ | October 2018
Dangerous Giant Animals | ★★★ | October 2018
Honour | ★★★ | October 2018
A Pupil | ★★★★ | November 2018
Dialektikon | ★★★½ | December 2018
Peter Pan | ★★★★ | December 2018
Rosenbaum’s Rescue | ★★★★★ | January 2019
The Dame | ★★★★ | January 2019
My Dad’s Gap Year | ★★½ | February 2019


Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com


Mythic – 4 Stars



Charing Cross Theatre

Reviewed – 8th October 2018


“A likeness to Hamilton comes to mind for the opening number, It’s A Myth, with its element of a sung/spoken narrative”


The relationship between mother and daughter can be quite a complicated one. Even more tricky to navigate when you are both immortal Gods. In new pop/rock musical Mythic by Marcus Stevens (book/lyrics) and Oran Eldor (music/orchestrations), this is just the case. A wittily-written, modern twist on thousand year old Greek myths, turns the Gods into rock stars, Hollywood royalty, It-girls and power-mad politicians – the type of celebrities that we are consumed by in the 21st-century. Mythic is a fun-filled, energetically infectious show that gives old tales a fresh retelling.

Demeter, Goddess of the Earth and harvest, has spent the last thousand years exiled from Olympus, where the other Gods hang out, due to having such boring, inadequate powers. Now, living mainly among mortals and her harvest nymphs, she has come to appreciate her life away from the party-going, drama-filled, celebrity culture of the Gods. Her daughter Persephone, however, doesn’t see it that way. She feels suffocated by boredom, living the life of a recluse. Spending her time reading magazines about the other Gods, she daydreams how the other half lives. She wants to find her own path. One day Persephone’s had enough and decides to gatecrash Zeus’ party on Mount Olympus. After bumping into party girl Aphrodite, she finds her way into the heart of the celebrations. It doesn’t take long before she has caught the eye of the bad boy of Gods, Hades, a misunderstood soul, who inadvertently traps her in the Underworld. Mythic turns into a tale of finding yourself, the endurance of a mother’s love, and inner courage that speaks to both ancient and modern times.

Georgie Westall as Persephone is certainly one to watch for the future, showing real personality yet truthfulness within her delivery. Much can be said the same for Daniella Bowen playing her mother Demeter, whose comic timing, particularly in the song What Mother’s Have to Do, comes across natural and unforced. Strong performances are executed from the whole cast. Even the ensemble are given individual moments to shine and stand out, which is rare.

A simple yet effective use of set and costumes, designed by Lee Newby, offers an amalgamation of ancient influences with modern-day edginess that helps to define the shows theme of reinvention.

The songs that feature definitely help to drive the story forward rather than bringing it to a halt. They aren’t the most memorable tunes in the world, but nevertheless, there most certainly isn’t any that seem weak, and it enables the cast to show off their belting chops. Stevens’ book and lyrics are laden with chuckle worthy material, even if lyrics at times are simplistic and one-dimensional. A likeness to Hamilton comes to mind for the opening number, It’s A Myth, with its element of a sung/spoken narrative, regaling the history of the Greek Gods.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining new musical that has the potential to move onto bigger venues and reach larger audiences.


Reviewed by Phoebe Cole

Photography by Marc Brenner



Charing Cross Theatre until 24th November


Previously reviewed at this venue:
Harold and Maude | ★★★★ | February 2018
It Happened in Key West | ★★ | July 2018


Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com