Dumbledore is so Gay
Reviewed – 27th February 2020
“a thoroughly enjoyable show with craftsmanship that you don’t find every day”
Bright, genuinely funny and completely naïve – “Dumbledore Is So Gay” by writer Robert Holtom and director Tom Wright is where Harry Potter meets The Butterfly Effect.
Jack is a young man. Jack (Alex Britt) is a Pottermaniac (and not-so-proud Hufflepuff). Jack is also gay, and has a big crush on his best friend. But life is brutal, especially for young boys with a non-mainstream sexual orientation. At school and at home, he is expected to be someone quite different – or rather, be with someone quite different – therefore, he decides to utilise some Harry Potter magic to change a few things from his past.
The simplicity and minimalism of the production are actually quite impressive. The set consists of three wooden crates which are functionally a couch, a bar, school desks and even a few more things. There are only three actors – Alex Britt as Jack, alongside Max Percy and Charlotte Dowding who play multiple roles from Jack’s life – his best friends, his parents, his bullies, his teacher, his lovers. Britt’s Jack has lots of youthful naivety and charming determination which makes him delightfully relatable for young audiences. Percy and Dowding are both very skilled at making all of their parts quite unique.
Robert Holtom’s witty and poignant writing has some cleverly placed counterpoints that blend more and less serious parts into a harmonious whole. And though this harmonious whole is admittedly utterly naïve, it also remains in accord with Jack’s immature character. One may wonder if use of magical realism isn’t but an excuse for presenting triggering themes in a more digestible way, but it definitely is engaging for the target viewer. Tom Wright’s direction is smooth, clear and dynamic, deftly utilising the very limited resources (and seemingly very limited budget).
It is not a play that will change the world. It is not a play that will set a new standard for LGBTQIA+ theatre. It is, nevertheless, a thoroughly enjoyable show with craftsmanship that you don’t find every day.
Reviewed by Dominika Fleszar
Photography by Gabriel Mokake
King’s Head Theatre
Reviewed – 25th April 2018
“the physical use of space helped the pace of the script match the range of emotions spilling across the stage”
Tonight’s ‘Tumble Tuck’ is the opening show in the ‘Who Runs The World?’ season at the King’s Head Theatre, showcasing female playwrights from now until May 12th, and what a brilliant way to start!
I am a singularly uncompetitive person. The more pressure applied, the less interest I have in the outcome. This has never endeared me to team sports, I prefer to walk for miles and enjoy the view, or swim alone for lengths, clearing my mind, meditating, and making my body stronger. So arriving in a minimalist studio to the sounds of a lapping pool with dappled blue lights made me feel very at home.
Daisy, played by playwright Sarah Milton, also likes to swim, but she is on the verge of medal. She understands she needs to work hard, she knows what is required of her, she’s OK with the idea of winning because it is an uncomplicated concept. It isn’t quite so simple for her to reconcile ‘doing your best’ with ‘being the best’, especially as she’s a little confused and a lot undecided about what ‘success’ may actually be.
There is no set, no cast beyond Daisy and very few props. The audience is on three sides of the stage where the storytelling unfolds through the blunt, funny, and honest recollection of memories, and re-enacted conversations that are both hilarious yet simultaneously heartbreaking. This strong, brave performance carefully reveals the events of Daisy’s life and slowly weaves them together.
As Daisy becomes more aware of the world around her, she wonders more about success. In sport and in life. Past experiences and present challenges can be elusive things to conquer, and perhaps not always as important as participation, or happiness.
In a very personal and bare space the lighting (Rory Beaton) and sound (Harry Blake) help to set an atmosphere that prevented Daisy’s narrative from ever seeming stark, and the physical use of space helped the pace of the script match the range of emotions spilling across the stage.
I found writer/performer, Sarah Milton both confident and engaging as a young woman trying to make sense of relationships and responsibilities. She captured the audience from the very beginning and ended with a standing ovation.
Touching on childhood friendships, mother-daughter relationships, first love, trust and rivalry, this show will resonate with anyone who remembers how confusing and complicated growing up can be.
Reviewed by Joanna Hinson
Photography by Scott Rylander
King’s Head Theatre until 12th May
Written by Sarah Milton