Wilma’s Rating [rating=5]
The stars were out in full force at last nights press night for Beautiful Thing at the Arts Theatre. Paparazzi lined the entrance way to the theatre to catch a snap of people like Kimberley Walsh, Gok Wan, Gabby Roslin, Melanie Sykes as well as some of the original cast members of the 1996 film Beautiful Thing.
Written in 1993 by Jonathan Harvey, this play quickly became a West End hit and has lost none of its appeal in the 20 years it has been gone, feeling just as relevant today as it did back then. The touching story of two boys who live next door to each other on a London council estate and fall in love, may have been written in a time when the word ‘gay’ was unacceptable, but in 2013 have things really changed all that much? Coming to terms with your sexually and asking those you love for acceptance is surely still no easier just because there are more gay people on TV these days? It is still a horrifically scary time for any young person which is reflected perfectly in the play.
Suranne Jones, Jake Davies, Danny-Boy Hatchard, Zaraah Abrahams and Oliver Farnworth all gave incredible performances under the direction of Nikolai Foster.
I can’t fault Beautiful Thing (apart from the Margaret Thatcher reference which, on the day of her funeral was unnecessary and not integral to the story). The acting, set design, musical interludes, lighting, everything was perfect. A real trip down memory lane to the early 90’s that will have you laughing out loud at the plethora of references to that time.
The standing ovation at the end of the show was met with an applause you would expect to hear at a pop concert and not the usual reaction you see in a theatre, going to show how much love there was for this show.
This really is a beautiful thing and an in incredibly important piece of theatre. I have no doubt this will be the last we hear of it in 2013. Bravo!
Beautiful Things plays at London’s Arts Theatre until 25th May.
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