Racial identity, puberty, sexuality and childhood trauma may not seem like the ideal topics for a one man camp cabaret, but here in Edinburgh anything is possible. These delicate issues often go undiscussed so perhaps a better way to open up the conversation is to throw a little sparkle on it. Christopher Wilson does just this with his production of
Christopher’s story is one that deserves to be out there.
Written and starring himself and himself alone Christopher opens up about his experiences fostering a young black girl with a difficult past. He does this through storytelling and short cabaret style musical numbers. Although his personal performance regularly came across as insincere and the songs almost exclusively self-indulgent, his emotionally charged story has the power to carry the show and captivate a room.
It seemed odd that a production saturated with empowerment of minority groups would, in the same breath, address the issue of heteronormativity and erase the possible bisexual identity of someone who may leave their same gendered partner for one of the opposite gender. Aside from this however it was refreshing to see an exploration of gay male identity that went beyond camp whilst still embracing the theatrical tradition of camp. The simple staging was intimate and sparked instant connection necessary for the personal stories that Christopher shares. The script was funny and intelligent, with unexpected moments such as a musical number on the history of the n-word. Christopher’s unquestionably likeable presence combined with the heart-breaking moments of his story make this production an emotional watch. Although the production has its faults, Christopher’s story is one that deserves to be out there. His choice to inject the tale with fun and glamour can only be commended.