A gay themed Friends for the Grindr generation, Fudge, playing now at the Gilded Ballroom Patter House, is a funny slice of gay life play.
The production is anchored by three marvelous performances from its acting ensemble
Charlie, Sophie, and Ben are fun-loving, bad movie watching, flatmates. The action of the play centers around a final night party among the three flatmates as Ben prepares to move out to live with his new serious boyfriend. Meanwhile, Charlie, who after a bad bought with Gonherrea has declared himself celibate, is questioning his feelings for his departing roommate.
The production is anchored by three marvelous performances from its acting ensemble; each managing to make their character comedic and compelling. The lead role of Charlie could easily have devolved into a stereotype out-of-luck gay guy, but in the hands of Jonas Moore he manages to make Charlie’s pain at unrequited love relatable.
Perhaps the hardest challenge lies on the shoulders of Rosanna Hitchen as Sophie, the female best friend. The role could easily fall into a whiney “fag hag” made popular by Parker Posey in countless gay films of the 90’s, but Hitchen excels at creating a complex female character that can be just as much fun as the boys while still be the voice of reason.
The writing by Hallam Breen and Phoebe Simmonds is pointed, funny and captures the raw reality of these characters. The play really jumps off the stage in the few moments when it moves beyond realism into a more expressionistic world of drugs and sex. The climax remains somewhat unresolved and lacks a sense of accomplishment for the main character. Maybe it is the playwrights’ intention to leave their audience in a state of loss, but as it continues to develop they need to find an answer to the oft-asked question about loving the wrong guy that feels unique and new to their story.