An adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s
A daring take on a classic tale
In this LGBT reimaging of the classic tale, we are treated to an hour of tense romance between Hotson and Legatt, which is made noticeable almost immediately thanks to the chemistry between John Black and Gareth Wildig. As their voyage progresses, the two quickly form a bond in the captain’s quarters - a welcome escape from the ship’s jeering crew. While it would have been easy for director Dinwiddy to whitewash the sexual nature of their relationship, instead he provides us with a lusty and raw rewriting and even includes some full-frontal nudity. Luckily, Black and Wildig give such a skilled performances that there’s no room for embarrassment and even more senior members of the audience don’t seem too taken aback.
But it’s not all nudity and sexual tension, as much lighter, comedic moments are provided by the play’s talented supporting cast. A shipmate (played by Ben Baeza) makes taunting comments about the Captain’s sexy silk pyjamas helping to pull the script into the 21st century and tease some giggles out of the crowd. Christine Kempell also puts on a hilarious performance as the no-nonsense first lady of the rival Sephora, barking her lines in a charming Welsh accent.
A running time of 60 minutes is the perfect length for this dark romance and, as the play reaches its dramatic climax, we’re all left wanting to know just a little bit more. While The Geminus might not be the right choice for a night of light entertainment, it is a successful and daring take on a classic tale that is definitely worth a watch.
The Geminus is the latest from Blue Devil Productions, whose previous plays, Apparatus and Ruffian, were both nominated for awards at Brighton Fringe. After a successful opening night on the 8th May the performance returns to the Rialto theatre from the 21st-25th May.