Reviewed – 16th June 2018
“A more slick delivery of this piece will ensure that it fulfills its potential”
In the cold brutality of a gay male scene that revolves so heavily around physical appearance, Guy is looking for love. Unfortunately he is dealing with his own insecurities, perpetuated by lists of turn offs and prejudices.
The overall narrative arch is lovely. It works really well and ties each of the people and story arcs together in its final moments. It also begins vital discussions about a scene that requires you to either go out on Canal Street or hookup with people via Grindr to meet anyone. The musical exposes the incredible pressures faced by gay men to look a certain way, both in terms of weight and race, and touches on obsessive gym routines and eating disorders as a product of these pressures. It is also refreshing to see a somewhat positive queer narrative that does not fall into the stereotypical subject categories.
The cast are strong and work well together. They all have fantastic voices, and bring the moments of choreography to life with an infectious dynamism. Musically, the actors feel uncertain at points. The score is heavily electronic which is highly effective, unexpected and undoubtedly clever, a conscious reflection of this clubbing based scene, but it feels at times like it leaves the actors with too little musical support. Frequently the music jars with their melodies and makes moments that may well have been accurate seem out of tune or time. This is perhaps something that will be ironed out as the show’s run progresses. It is however an undoubtedly exciting score by Stephen Hyde, supported by funny, well-observed book and lyrics by Leoe Mercer – clearly a very talented and ambitious duo.
A more slick delivery of this piece will ensure that it fulfills its potential, but ultimately this is a refreshing, well-observed and fun look at the gay scene, love and personal acceptance.
Reviewed by Amelia Brown
Photography by Simon J Webb
The Bunker until 7th July
Also by leoe&hyde