PARTY | Above The Stag, London

Above The Stag, the UK’s only LGBT theatre, has revived director Gene David Kirk’s sell-out 2016 production of David Dillon’s 1992 ensemble comedy about gay life. Patrons are likely to be attending for the attractive, all-male cast and full frontal nudity. However, that does not do service to the excellent writing, which is still — remarkably — uproariously funny and fresh.

Thankfully, much of the original cast that made this production such a hit in 2016 have returned for the revival. Ben Kavanagh as Ray, a celibate, musical theatre adoring priest, has the best lines of the show; a string of manic, bitchy pearls that brings the house down. Heart-throb Jamie Firth returns as triple threat dancer Brian, a fizzing, madcap performance that whips the action along with megawatt energy.

Originally performed in Chicago, this production sees the characters as Londoners, with British pop-culture references. The period, however, has not been adapted: there’s cassette tapes on the shelves and nobody’s on Grindr. It’s — dare we say — a better party for it.

Dillon originally wrote the play as a contemporary backlash against the misery of Angels In America and its ilk, to show that being gay isn’t just doom and gloom, it’s fantastic fun, with fantastic people. The play is far more than just seven bums on stage and witty lines, it’s a celebration: it’s a PARTY.

Join the PARTY until 15 April 2018. Many performances already sold out. Tickets £21 (unreserved seating).

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