Park Theatre and Hackney Empire (venue)
20 April 2021 (released)
This verbatim piece on homeless and at risk LBGTQ+ young people is powerful and thought provoking. A terrible admission that these life stories can still exist in a world where we appear to have greater levels of acceptance and support. Alexis Gregory has gathered these individual verbatim stories and has assembled a brilliant cast that ‘ooze’ truth . Each one of their performances a perfect match to the profound nature of the lives he collected.
LaMont opens the piece singing the Bronski Beat hit ‘Hometown Boy’. He has such tenderness and pitch perfect vocals which immediately draw you into the heart of the play.
Each life story is delivered as a separate monologue, highlighting their feelings of abandonment and loneliness. Each in their own particular way losing a sense of Family. The editing of these adds much to the success of the overall storytelling. When the characters are finally brought together to discuss what makes them feel safe, their proximity and the occasional acknowledgment of each other’s presence, speaks volumes. When they finally line up as their own form of Family it is a powerful image.
Elijah Ferreira as Jack brings an optimism to his portrayal, his innocence radiates and you can see how his personality would and does win people over . In contrast Mary Malone playing Tami is much more strident, and in less talented hands could have been very stereotypical. However, she avoids this and gives a performance that is wonderfully multi-dimensional.
Taofique Folarin is a Samuel embodying the joy and sheer excitement of moving from Nigeria to Britain. The place where he believes he can be who he truly is, but can never quite escape his prejudicial upbringing. May Kelly delivers a powerful performance as Alicia who is struggling with alcoholism and desperate attempts to set up home.
The lighting by Mike Robertson has a strong influence on the narrative and Mann Bros photography and post-production help to make this a production and enthralling watch.