Andrew J Davies is the writer and producer of What A Gay Play, a shamelessly raunchy play about a group of gay friends playing at C venues this August. We send Features Editor James T Harding to get the ‘t’.
This is a gorgeous group who'll you'll enjoying ogling, sorry, watching.
Tell us about the play.
What a Gay Play spends an evening with a group, chosen family if you like, of close gay friends as they welcome a couple of newbies to their fold. It's an honest portrayal of modern gay guys, imbibed with their humour and as the evening progresses a little bit of naughtiness too - this is a gorgeous group who'll you'll enjoying ogling, sorry, watching.
Apart from being about gay people, what would you say unifies the pink play genre?
There seem to be two types of 'gay play' - the fun and the political. Without totally ignoring some of the very real issues that still face the community, this is very much of the fun ilk. What does tend to unite all of them is probably at least a flash of nudity, it's almost become de rigeur with 'gay plays'! So who are we to disappoint ;-)
Your theatre career started as a stage manager. How has this informed or enabled your writing?
I wanted to write something that knowingly used and played with some theatrical conventions, so we use the audience quite a lot breaking the fourth wall, the sound and lighting are very much part of the script, and I made sure there was little in the way of props/costumes/set and that everyone was drinking clear-ish liquids lol
I know that the show started to come together at last year's Fringe. Can you tell us a little bit about the development process?
It was one of those nights where your mind is a little bit too busy to sleep, and with last year's Fringe shows in my head I started making bullet point notes of the things I would include if I was to ever write a play myself. By the morning there were characters, arcs and plot points. A few months later I had a short but end-to-end version of it and with some helpful feedback that developed a lot, being much clearer about its key objectives.
Throughout the casting process, director Dan Phillips (amazing!) coming on board and rehearsals it has continued to grow and change very organically and collaboratively which I'm really chuffed about - the Fringe is a very different sort of gig for an actor so I've been keen that this play had a shared ownership.