REVIEW: LORD DISMISS US (Above The Stag Theatre) ★★★
Glenn Chandler, most famous for creating the TV series Taggart, returns to the Above The Stag Theatre in Vauxhall with his latest show Lord Dismiss Us. Adapted from Michael Campbell’s novel, set in 1967, when homosexuality was still illegal, the show follows the lives of some of the residents of Weatherhill School for Boys. Terry (Joshua Oakes-Rogers) has his eyes set on the new boy at school Nicky (Joe Bence) and it doesn’t take long until the two are having an elicit love affair. Peter (Jonathan Blaydon) struggles to accept the pair as the attention is no longer on him and Head Boy John Steele (Matthew McCallion) is tasked with the job of sniffing out any potential homosexuals in the school by the new headmaster (David Mullen) and his comedy wife (Julie Teal).
It was a little odd that for a play set in a time when homosexuality was illegal, to have the characters so openly gay, not feeling the need to hide anything from anyone. Also, whilst I don’t think any lines were crossed in this production, I did question just how far a show should go to use young actors to portray children having sexual relations with each other on stage.
Lord Dismiss Us is a fun, light hearted play but lacks any real substance. The cast give great performances and it is easy to see why the show did well at this years Edinburgh Fringe Festival. An enjoyable night out but perhaps not as ground breaking as the book may have been when it was released the same year that homosexuality was made legal.
Reviewed by West End Wilma