These Troubled Times

Troy Diana’s comedy These Troubled Times focuses on Charles (John Curtis), an openly gay man who arrives at his brother's family home to babysit his niece and nephew. Upon arrival, strange incidents begin to unfold and he soon finds himself getting more than what he bargained for. 

I found myself stuck in limbo land trying to understand whether this play was a parody or a comedy.

The intimidating black and white image of the dog on the front of the flyer filled me with anticipation with actually what this play was about. I was expecting a sinister dark comedy; an exploration of homophobia that would be intriguing. However, I couldn't have been more wrong! The show heavily relies on theatricality and comedy that is on the verge of being a parody. The arrival of an extremist Christian neighbour, Mrs Raymond – played by Troy Diana – sets this up from the start, with over-the-top gestures and wide eyed expressions I began to think I was getting more than I bargained for. 

I had to put aside the the flyer, it was too confusing with regard to what I was actually seeing. At this point an alien had invaded and the family dog had been thrown at the window. Yes. Really. Images of the family plus boyfriend (Miguel Belmonte) ready with kitchen appliances to take on the extraterrestrial, and the tying up of Mrs Raymond may have mirrored that of any kidnap movie. But it was deprived of energy and I found myself stuck in limbo land trying to understand whether this play was a parody or a comedy. 

Monarch Theatre have an idea here but alterations and changes need to be made to reach an audience, the publicity communicates something completely different and that is why I came away feeling just as confused as I was at the beginning.

Reviews by Lucy Skinner

Underbelly, Cowgate

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★★★★
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★★★★
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These Troubled Times

Assembly George Square Gardens

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★★★★★

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Performances

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The Blurb

A comedic and irreverent exploration of homophobia, religion, and the meaning of family. An openly gay man babysits his niece and nephew but gets more that he bargained for. Then there’s the persistence of his estranged boyfriend, the religion fuelled homophobia of his brother’s neighbour, and the extraordinary arrival of some unpleasant, unwelcome guests. This dark and funny tale proves the most important question of our time is not are we alone, but what happens when we come together? 'Humorous true-to-life writing and excellent performances' (TheatreScene.net).

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