One evening, two plays, much discussion over drinks
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There are worse things that could greet you as you walk into a room than Freddie Hogan’s perfect bottom.
And in this case, it’s going up and down like the clappers as he pounds the guy he’s picked up on Grindr – while the audience take their seats.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, this particular ‘warm entrance’ being the second act of two plays currently showing at Above The Stag in London.
The first, Boys’ Play, is a nocturnal tale of teenagers Tom and Joe, both outcasts in their own way, on a trip into the woods one evening. There are lingering glances and flashes of flesh, a glimpse of possible unrequited love and an ending that while may not be happy, can be interpreted in any number of ways, which is part of the beauty of Jack Heifner’s script.
Alexander Pritchett as Tom is the handsome school trouble-maker you always hoped was gay while Matt Brinkler’s Joe is the cute and sensitive soul that many of the all-male audience probably identified with.
The second act of the evening, Extra Virgin, focuses on Noah and Elliott, the aforementioned pair that hook up online and both get a lot more than they bargained for. Sidestepping any potential spoilers, Howard Walters’ story is arguably the more intense of the two – Hogan takes the incredibly dark material and impressively runs with it, while Kane John Scott as Noah goes from a loveable geek and the boy you want to cuddle up to, to the other end of the spectrum with Fatal Attraction style aplomb.
You’re left wondering who’s side you’re on, if any.
With four men who are all extremely attractive acting so closely to the audience (the venue is endearingly intimate, in case you haven’t yet paid a visit), you could be forgiven for being distracted. The intensity of their performances demands your attention and takes you into worlds that might not feel too comfortable, but may also seem a little too familiar for some.
Boys Plays teases tales of homo-eroticism but delivers far more thanks to thought-provoking writing and a bloody marvelous quartet of future stars.
Boys Plays is at Above The Stag until 16 October.
For more details visit the website.