Virgin

Simon David bursts onto the stage in a bout of eccentricity that boldly asserts his dominance over the evening. His body-hugging black leotard reveals him to be a man without inhibitions who is happy to strut his stuff in pursuit of his goal. And no, he is not a drag queen; he’s just a cute-looking young guy, a ‘twink’ in gay parlance, who is determined to grab a record deal that will change his life forever. Stardom awaits!

A powerful performance packed with punch

What distinguishes him from the thousands of boys with the same dream? Virginity. He’s got it and he’s holding onto it. For him, it’s a unique selling point that raises him above the level of the rest. While others might have lost their cherry at the earliest opportunity he chose to rise above the lure of lust, something he found not too difficult when dealing with girls. Setting all carnal desires behind him he is able to devote all his energy to parading along the path to pre-eminence.

In Virginity the character is the person, and while David may not be seeking a career as a pop star he is certainly looking for a secure place in the world of cabaret. With this performance that is virtually guaranteed. He exudes confidence and sleekly displays his talents. The voice is powerful and the words are clear. He can take the audience from moments of tender reflection to belting bravura. Then he weaves into the show his other musical accomplishments. In a display worthy of a true queen he requires the pianist to leave her position to hand him the instrument he is about to play, even though he is standing next to it. Divas clearly don’t bend over to pick things up, though this one can do the splits.

His ability on the saxophone is the first instrumental surprise. It’s a ‘Wow, he really can play it’ moment when we appreciate that there is more to this precocious performer than meets the eye. It’s a joy to the ear and could develop into whole other show. Then comes the accordion. He sits to squeeze out a haunting melody, but the display of dexterity with the long fingers flitting over the keyboard and pressing the buttons is also a visual delight. Finally, one more talent has to be displayed as he accompanies himself on the keyboard, knocking out yet another gutsy song. Throughout he has the backing of a trio that unobtrusively yet powerfully supports his act.

The comedy flows and his engagement with the audience affectionately draws people into his show. Even as he mounts a chair over someone he remains unthreatening. The scripted parts of the show flow without hesitation. It’s in the ad-libbed, improvised moments that he betrays just a glimmer of nervous vulnerability in almost under-the-breath asides that come with a little giggle.

Overall, it’s a powerful performance packed with punch that’s ideally suited to the late evening slot. David is firmly established on the path to success and has has passed a few milestones already. There will be many more ahead, but the way is clear and the destination is in sight. One question remains: ‘Will he lose his virginity on the way?’.

Reviews by Richard Beck

Brockley Jack Theatre

every seven years

★★★
Arcola Theatre

The Game of Love and Chance

★★★
Lion & Unicorn

Two Worlds No Family

★★★★
Jermyn Street Theatre

Mr and Mrs Nobody

★★★★
The Space

Helium

★★★
Southwark Playhouse

Exile

★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Simon David needs a record deal – his unique selling point? He's a virgin! Co-written by Fringe First winner Chris Larner, Simon and his incredible live band exploit his heartbreak through original pop songs and outrageous comedy. Direct from sell-out shows at the Camden Fringe and Pride in London. 'A seriously entertaining hour' ***** (WestEndWilma.com). 'Genuinely moving moments amid the comedic chaos' (BroadwayWorld.com). 'A multi-talented musician' (QX Magazine).

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