Tag Archives: Tyrone Huntley

Homos, or Everyone in America – 4 Stars


Homos, or Everyone in America

Finborough Theatre

Reviewed – 14th August 2018


“McEntire and Huntley as the two leads give incredible performances”


Jordan Seavey’s ‘Homos, or Everyone in America’, receiving its European premiere at the Finborough Theatre, is a whirlwind of a play, full of love, intelligence, mystery and warmth.

Told in scenes that leap around between 2006 and 2011, ‘Homos…’ is the story of ‘The Writer’ (Harry McEntire) and ‘The Academic’ (Tyrone Huntley), two twenty-somethings living in Brooklyn, NY. They meet over Friendster, the social networking site that appears to have been the next big thing before Myspace and Facebook arrived on the block, and from a drunken first date onwards, the play charts their highs and lows, their arguments, make-ups, break-ups and everything in between, until one life-changing event unsettles and rearranges everything they had before. “Handsome, and sort of strapping” Dan (Dan Krikler), a friend of The Academic, becomes a key player in the couple’s downfall, whilst Laila (Cash Holland), an enthusiastic and kind Lush worker, does what she can to help a stranger in a time of need.

A play about well-educated New York gay men talking about being gay can hardly be called ground-breaking, but Seavey’s script, stylistically built up on half-sentences, interruptions and people talking over each other, is moving, truthful, and feels real. The structure means each scene is sort of a guessing game as to when and where we are in the relationship, and the neat movement sequences (simply effective work from Chi-San Howard) work with the script to foreshadow a darker event on the couples’ horizon.

McEntire and Huntley as the two leads give incredible performances, sitting into the characters convincingly, and seeming free and at ease with each other and the space. Both actors display an impressive ability to snap out of emotional fraught scenes and move into lighter ones (and vice versa) at the drop of hat, and in a play so filled with arguments, they make the most of the kinder, funnier moments to give the audience a sense of why they are together.

Josh Seymour’s direction keeps the action varied, even when the script begins to feel a little repetitive (argue – make-up – repeat), and by giving us physical milestones at the beginning to keep an eye out for, gives a strange sense of emotional déjà vu, as if it’s somehow our relationship up on stage. A word of warning though: those with sensitive noses beware, this production contains Lush products, and lots of them.

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand…” Williams Blake once wrote, and on the Finborough’s luscious, sand-covered stage, this relationship works hard to be the one grain representing many. It seemed odd at first to be taken back to Bush and Obama, but that time frame, and the shock and drama of the finale, suggest now more than ever is a time for vigilance and action. Has the world become (to use a word hated by The Writer) less tolerant, less safe? We hope not, but in the meantime, let’s celebrate love, kindness and what individuals can do for each other.


Reviewed by Joseph Prestwich

Photography by Marc Brenner


Homos, or Everyone in America

Finborough Theatre until 1st September


Previously reviewed at this venue
The Biograph Girl | ★★★ | May 2018
Finishing the Picture | ★★★★ | June 2018
But it Still Goes on | ★★★★ | July 2018


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A Midsummer Night’s Dream – 4 Stars


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Watermill Theatre

Reviewed – 14th May 2018


“Artistic Director Paul Hart and his youthful players have magnificently overcome the twin risks of over-familiarity and complacency in this joyful new production”


Buried deep in the English countryside is a little theatre that consistently beguiles. The 200-seat Watermill just outside Newbury stages its own plays twelve times each year. Casts live together throughout every production and shows are marked by both excellent ensemble work and by high levels of creativity and innovation.

But how to shine new light on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream? ‘I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows’. And so do we all, for the play is a favourite of almost every outdoor theatre season, consistently ranking in the top three of all the Bard’s thirty seven plays. We love to laugh again (and again) at the play within a play, with its hackneyed ‘rude mechanicals’, two fingers held up to make another chink in the wall.

Watermill Artistic Director Paul Hart and his youthful players have magnificently overcome the twin risks of over-familiarity and complacency in this joyful new production. Appropriately enough for a play about make-believe, the show opens with a shadowy view of theatre fly ropes, part of a stage design by Kate Lias. Rope tricks of various kinds help make the magic in this celebratory show which also has a strong commitment to diversity.

Sign language is an integral part of the production, since the cast includes a co-founder of the Deaf & Hearing Theatre Company in a speaking role. Sophie Stone’s partially signed scenes with Evening Standard award winning Tyrone Huntley are delightful, the signing very much enhancing the show. As well as being a witty and persuasive actor, Tyrone Huntley has a fine singing voice. Singing and signing also combine in a moving ensemble number after the interval.

There’s more magic in the mix when shadow play begins behind a spangly red curtain that descends rapidly to transform the enchanted wood into a nightclub. It’s a good setting for some witty musical interpolations. Is this the first Midsummer Night’s Dream to feature Rodgers and Hart’s ‘Blue Moon’? In other scenes the always engaging Eva Feiler as Puck cleverly works dolls to underline the point that we are witnessing a dream time, engineered by otherworldly creatures for their own amusement.

Victoria Blunt was brilliant as Bottom, switching from broad Lancashire to a booming Gielgud parody as the most thespish of the ‘rude mechanicals’ who finally get to perform their play within a play right at the end of the show.

As Oberon, ‘King of Shadows’ Jamie Satterthwaite seemed at first a little too insubstantial for the patriarchal world of Athens where a father let alone a king of the fairies ‘should be as a god’ but he gained authority as the evening went on.
Some careful cuts and rearrangements are characteristic of the close reading that’s evidently gone into a show that quite bursts with ideas. The night this reviewer saw it, Emma McDonald’s role as Titania was magnificently covered at very short notice by Rebecca Lee. She appeared to be all but word-perfect, with a vampish authority that was most engaging. Her substitution may have understandably explained a slightly hectic breathlessness that characterised more than one scene in the performance I saw.

The show ends in a magnificently farcical version of ‘Pyramus & Thisbe’, the play within. Talented Offue Okegbe doubles Snout and Theseus, as well as playing an instrument, like many other cast members. His ‘wall’ is much too funny a surprise to spoil in this review. Joey Hickman was an owlish Demetrius as well as the show’s musical director.

But for a bizarrely unexpected flash of light across the crowd, Tom White’s lighting design was highly effective, particularly so in the final scene ‘If we shadows have offended, Think but this, and all is mended, That you have but slumbered here While these visions did appear.’

On press night, a good part of the audience came whooping to its feet at the end of this big-hearted and dazzling show. Cast and a large supporting crew, including magic, movement and BSL advisers, all deserve huge congratulation for their contributions to such a delightful Dream.


Reviewed by David Woodward

Photography by Scott Rylander


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Watermill Theatre until 16th June


Previously reviewed at this venue
Teddy | ★★★★★ | January 2018
The Rivals | ★★★★★ | March 2018
Burke & Hare | ★★★★ | April 2018


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