A Partnership

Some assert that homophobia, for the most part, has been eradicated. Equal rights now legally exist and those against the LGBT+ community are apparently a minority. Yet Thomas-Howe’s play deals with a subtler hatred: an internalised homophobia. The play commendably unpacks prejudice that lurks in the shadows, in the air we breathe and unconsciously within our own minds.

The play commendably unpacks prejudice that lurks in the shadows.

Zach (Thomas-Howe) and Ally (Ben Hadfield) appear to be a happy couple. They’ve been going out for five years and stumble into their new flat drunkenly with smiles on their faces just an hour before Ally’s 30th birthday. Nothing, it seems, is wrong as the play unfolds in real time. Zach’s assault on Ally’s NHS colleague “Two Pint Tony” is accepted flippantly, yet unresolved issues seem to bubble below the surface. Ally is clearly mulling over more than just how to entertain or seek attention, as is the self-professed “normal” Zach.

For an hour, the outside world is at bay and the two men are left to consider the state of their own, monogamous relationship. Will they come to terms with their union for what it is or continue to dance around any underlying and inevitable issues that emerge in all long-term relationships? Funnily enough, the only thing that might disturb their solitude is an imminent takeaway.

Ally fears getting old. The contrast between a decade of leisurely cocaine consumption as opposed to mortgages and avocados encapsulates his objection to entering his thirties. This coming-of-age ultimatum was foregrounded in my mind as other issues quietly unfolded through Thomas-Howe’s artfully constructed script. Is this the last chance for Ally to feel young or the last chance for their relationship?

Yet age felt closely entangled with an inclination towards or away from monogamy. Ally flirts away with Mr Patel, owner of their beloved Indian takeaway, which was amusing and endearing. It also seemed, however, to quietly clash with any professed allegiance to a monogamous relationship, foretelling complications that the play goes on to explore. Ally jestingly imagines himself “stabbed with a stiletto in a bar fight” if he were without his companion. Yet the seemingly kind and gentle Zach is not necessarily so innocent.

I imagine the play will be very successful in its upcoming London run.

Reviews by William Leckie

Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

A Partnership

★★★★
Greenside @ Royal Terrace

The Heresy Machine

★★
ZOO Playground

Yellow

★★★★
theSpace on North Bridge

Mojo

★★★★
PQA Venues @Riddle's Court

Hitman and Her

★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

The 27 Club

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Can two men in modern-day London have a long-lasting, monogamous relationship? A Partnership, a relationship comedy-drama featuring two men, has no angels, no AIDS and no other characters – it looks into the changing face of homophobia, as partners Ally and Zach are forced to have a conversation nine years in the making, and finally make a decision about their future. In real-time over an hour, on the eve of Ally's 30th birthday, he and Zach question whether we can – or should – be 'normal,' as internalised homophobia casts a silent shadow over their relationship.

Most Popular See More

Hairspray

From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Witness for the Prosecution

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets