On the surface, this is yet another 'coming out' story. This time, the 'boy' is Australian, the conservative parents are from Brisbane, the bars are in Melbourne and the apps are Grindr and Hinge.
A lively and engaging performance, holding the stage single-handedly
Having once experienced love as a teenager, the ‘boy’ heads to the big city, trying to find it again. In the process of doing so, he has to navigate the universally confusing transition into adulthood, with the added obstacles of gay shame and homophobia while trying also to balance the (sometimes opposing) exigencies of his heart and his libido. No wonder life seems tough.
The pressure makes him anxious, exciteable and needy.
Everything comes to a head when a health emergency causes him to go back home to visit his parents, and this precipitates an outbreak of emotional honesty within the family. This represents the boy's first step towards integrating so many conflicting internal and external demands. He begins to realise what he has to do.
There are some nice moments in Rupert Bevan’s writing - particularly the tender descriptions of the boy's teenage crush; the somewhat confusing demands of his gender studies course, and the brief moments of honesty with his ailing father.
We realise that the search for identity comes not from associating with any particular social group, identity label or political movement, but in having the freedom and the courage to identify as ourselves - nothing more and nothing less.
Bevan gives a lively and engaging performance, holding the stage single-handedly. He veers easily from high camp and flirtation, to moments of vulnerability and confusion.
The question for me is this: do we need to see yet another play about the struggle for an individual to express their sexual identity with integrity and without shame? Unfortunately, until social attitudes and parenting skills have reached a point where coming out is no longer a traumatic event, I think we do. If theatre is a place where we process, or come to terms with trauma, then seeing this kind of play repeated - albeit with different characters, different locations, different music and different humour - is entirely necessary. And Rupert Bevan should be applauded for doing so.