Best Actor in a Play
Omari Douglas/Russell Tovey, Constellations
There were occasional moments when the multiple casts of Constellations felt like it might just be an experiment but in the Douglas/Tovey iteration, something magical happened as their chemistry electrified this most familiar of plays, making it sexier, funnier and more heartwrenching than ever before.
Honourable mention: Ben Daniels, The Normal Heart
A titanic piece of acting in a blisteringly good production, all the more powerful for being on one of our largest stages. And despite the weightiness of the material and the size of that stage, Daniels filled it with the deepest of compassion.
Charles Edwards, Best of Enemies
Dickon Farmar, Gay Generations
Josh O’Connor, Romeo and Juliet
Jack Sunderland, DJ Bazzer’s Year 6 Disco
Best Actor in a Musical
Eddie Redmayne, Cabaret
Jessie Buckley rightly got a lot of the attention upon the owning of the Kit Kat Club but I don’t think Redmayne’s reworking of the Emcee is anything to be sniffed at either. A creepily expressive and starkly defined journey towards darkness, such is his charisma that we’re practically skipping along with him.
Honourable mention: Noel Sullivan, The Rhythmics
Far too few people will have gotten to see Sullivan lead this charming new musical but one has to hope he’ll be at the lycra-clad helm once again when it resurfaces.
Declan Bennett, Carousel
Adam Cooper, Singin’ in the Rain
Scott Mackie, The Off Key
David Thaxton, She Loves Me
Gay Generations showcases a double bill of Michael McManus’ A Certain Term and Charlie Ross MacKenzie’s I F****n Love You at the White Bear Theatre
“Fuck the hedgehog”
Originally scheduled to be staged in March 2020, Gay Generations – a double bill of new gay writing – has finally made it to the White Bear Theatre. Loosely connected through their inclusion of older gay characters, both one-act plays neatly widen dramatic representation for a sector of the LGBT+ community that aren’t necessarily that well reflected in societal narratives, particularly from within the community itself.
First up is A Certain Term by Michael McManus, directed by Bryan Hodgson, and full disclosure, this one made me cry. Haunted by the past, Dickon Farmar’s Graham hosts an annual dinner party with his closest friends, a testament to those who survived the HIV/AIDS epidemic and a tribute to those that didn’t. But this year, the early arrival of fresh-faced work colleague Joe (Daniel Cornish) provokes a startlingly fresh perspective on the past. Continue reading “Review: Gay Generations, White Bear Theatre”
The OnComm is the new award for online shows from across the UK (and beyond) and was introduced in
1. Recording pre-lockdown (direct)
(i.e. with little or no editing)
Going Viral / Daniel Bye
Hysteria / Spymonkey
Jane Clegg / Finborough Theatre
The House Of Bernarda Alba / Graeae
2. Recording pre-lockdown (edited)
(i.e. with significant editing)
Bubble / Theatre Uncut
Cyprus Avenue / Royal Court & Abbey Theatre
SeaWall / Simon Stephens
The Encounter / Complicité Continue reading “The finalists of The ONCOMMs 2021”
At the end of the 2010 West End production of Tommy Murphy’s Holding The Man, his adaptation of Tim Conigrave’s novel about his relationship with a guy named John, I was so distraught that I wept in my seat at the Trafalgar Studios for several minutes. So the prospect of seeing it again was one I approached with caution, even as Big Boots Theatre Company intrigued me with their production at the Brockley Jack.
Holding The Man is much more than your conventional relationship drama though, covering as it does their love affair from the mid 1970s until the early 1990s and thus staking its place as a first-hand documentation of the ravaging impact of the arrival of HIV/AIDS in the worldwide gay community. It is brutally, unflinchingly honest and as such, transcends any notion that the material is dated or that such plays are no longer relevant. Continue reading “Review: Holding The Man, Brockley Jack”