Next Fall

IMG_3417-0.JPGWhen Adam sees Luke praying to his sandwich early on in their relationship, his Christian beliefs are brought out in to the open. Non religious Next Fall examines the relationship between two men in New York with opposite feelings about god. Adam has some obvious questions including “how can god love you when you are sinning by being gay”.

Two things in certain in life. We live and we die. But what happens after? That is the crux of this story. Religious Luke (who prays for forgiveness after having sex) is happy in his beliefs but partner Adam has so many questions. Unable to answer them (and happy just to believe) Luke shuts off.

After Luke has an accident and ends up in hospital with a coma, his family come face to face with Adam, Luke’s long-term partner (something that has been kept a secret). The play is cleverly told through the use of flashbacks, introducing us to how the couple met, how they learnt to love each other for their differences and what happened in the build up to the tragic events that saw the couple torn apart.

I’ve never been see a show in ‘The Little’ at Southwark Playhouse. Its a lovely little space (although swelteringly hot the night I went) and the set design by David Woodhead was beautifully clean and modern minimalistic.

Charlie Condou and Martin Delaney play lovers Adam and Luke. A believably ‘real’ looking couple. The stereotypes of gay relationships are thankfully left out of this production, showing that just because you’re gay, doesn’t mean that your life is lived any differently to anyone else.

Nancy Crane and Mitchell Mullen play Luke’s parents Arlene and Butch. The pair have a great chemistry together and play their dramatic moments out well. Nancy is the hilarious hippy mother whilst Mitchell is the strong male with firm beliefs that a man should be a man. Ben Cura and Sirine Saba play friends Brandon and Holly. Without these additional characters to soften the dramatic moments of the show it could have been too much but the pair added some well needed relief.

A beautiful story that shows it is not just parents who have to deal with their children being gay. The children actually have to deal with it themselves. I think a lot of people forget this very important point.

Next Fall can’t really be faulted. Every character had richness and depth to it and each was played out by a brilliant actor. I think this is a very important story that doesn’t focus on Aids or homophobia, just the heartbreaking story of two people in love who are torn apart.

Reviewed by West End Wilma

Next Fall is playing at the Southwark Playhouse until 25 October 2014. Click here for more information and to book tickets.