Five Drinks

It might be a good idea to take five drinks into the auditorium, to see you through a play that has moments of wit and humour but contains nothing profound. Five Drinks is another script that will end up on the pile of mediocre coming-out, gay dating plays that are little more than possibly pleasant diversions.

If you are hooked on plays about gay struggles, then add this one to your collection, but don’t expect any insights; otherwise it might just turn out to be one more bad date.

For once, the dreaded pole that divides the downstairs stage at Paradise in Augustines works well. Dylan Moon arrives for what turns out to be a rather uncomfortable date with Archie, who is older and more experienced, seated at a table downstage left. This provides the location for their conversation which brings up the highs and mostly lows of Dylan’s previous experiences. These are relived in four flashbacks stage right on the other side of the pillar. One current date and four previous encounters equals five drinks. The strand that runs through Dylan’s life is his ineptness and lack of social skills at the most basic level of social intercourse; until he masters that there is no hope of any other sort. He has to work out greetings, who pays and what to talk about.

Luke Charlton is convincingly undateable as Dylan, but such an uninteresting character doesn’t make for a gripping leading man, as he wanders uncomfortably from one doomed liaison to another. Meanwhile, Kyle Harrison Pope creates a menacing Archie, who seems rather bored with the whole thing. Lilly Hall mouths some major moments of fun in a series of one-liners from Alice, which are truly witty and provide some peaks of humour in an otherwise flat landscape. The disco scene is energetic but only contributes an interlude of light fun and games.

If you are hooked on plays about gay struggles, then add this one to your collection, but don’t expect any insights; otherwise it might just turn out to be one more bad date.

Reviews by Richard Beck

Tristan Bates Theatre

Wine

★★★
Above the Stag Theatre

Kids Play

★★★★★
Tristan Bates Theatre

Revelation 1:18

★★★★
Tristan Bates Theatre

No Help Sent

★★★★
PRINT ROOM at THE CORONET

The Outsider (L’Étranger)

★★★★
Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Prairie Flower

★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Five Drinks is an original play about the unique experience of gay dating. Dylan is on a drinks date with Archie but recalls a series of drinks in which he learns how to date, who to date, and the limitations of one’s own personal progress. It’s a comparison of different journeys towards a gay identity, a reverse exploration of a move between experience and innocence of an entire adult world. This is a story of Dylan Moon; his experience of being underwhelmed by others, understood by himself, and surprised by time.