I Went To A Fabulous Party – Kings Head Theatre
At one point during And Davis’s debut play ‘I went to a fabulous party’, I turned to my companion and asked him to translate what on earth was being said as I understood about 1 word in 10. The scene in question was a long list of the abbreviations and nicknames that are used on the gay hook up app Grindr (eg. Otter, BB, Bear, Power B…) and it perfectly illustrated the confusing world a young Gay man would enter.
The premise of Davis’s play is simple; A group of 8 gay men are hanging out on a Friday night at the aforementioned ‘Fabulous Party’ and as the alcohol flows, tempers begin to fray, secrets unfold and clothes are shed. As a snap shot of realistic dialogue and an interesting character cross-section, the show works. However, if you go along looking for character arch and plot development you will be left wanting as the lynchpin plot of a young man who is unsure of his sexuality is pushed aside in favour of ogling male flesh.
The dialogue is never quite biting enough to be hilarious, but is too rooted in humour to reveal any deep emotions within the character. The exception to this is the character of Tom, played by Stephen Oswald. A larger chap his speech about body perfection issues in the gay community was quite poignant and Oswald brought warmth and cheekiness to the role, unfortunately this was then once again swept aside to make way for a lot of stripping and gyrating. I have no doubt that this could be an accurate representation of what some parties are like, but did it add anything to the plot or even to dissuade gay stereotypes? Not particularly.
There were some solid performances from the cast, including Gregory A Smith as a prissy, slightly older character in love with another man’s husband. His fastidiousness and catty facial expressions were fun to watch and Smith did well not to step over into caricature. In contrast Ahd Tamimi’s performance as the bi-sexual gym bunny/ part-time stripper didn’t add anything to mix and despite his hot body (which Dan Philip’s direction used extensively), my eyes slid away to other performers.
For a first effort, ‘I went to a fabulous party’ was funny enough to get by and the Friday night crowd certainly enjoyed what they saw. But as a piece of theatre I left the performance feeling disappointed and confused as to what the show was actually trying to say due to the half-fleshed out characters and general lack of direction.
Reviewed by Roz Carter
Photo: Francis Loney
I Went To A Fabulous Party is playing at the Kings Head Theatre until 5 July 2015. Click here for tickets