What’s it all about?
Mart Crowley’s seminal piece, The Boys In The Band (first seen in 1968), tells the story of nine men, who gather in a New York apartment for a birthday celebration. Harold receives a surprise gift from his friend, Emory, in the form of a gorgeous male hustler. Meanwhile, party host Michael gets an unwanted surprise of his own, in the shape of a figure from his past. Whilst, thankfully, perhaps not quite as relevant today as it was was it was first performed, themes of being comfortable with ourselves and our sexuality still resonate today. As Michael says towards the end of the play, “If only we could learn not to hate ourselves”.
Who’s in it?
A cast of nine fills the small Park Theatre stage. Ian Hallard leads the show as the troubled Michael, steadily drinking his way from cheerful party host to self-loathing, depressed introvert. Mark Gatiss is divine as the coolly observant Harold, never fazed by the startling events unfolding in front of him. James Holmes and Jack Derges provide much of the comedy of the piece as the boisterous and camp Emory, and the pretty but dim Cowboy respectively.
What should I look out for?
In a production as consistently strong as this, it’s hard to pick a highlight; it truly is an ensemble piece, with the script, performances, direction and more all contributing. Each audience member will take away their own personal highlight. That being said, surely the all-too-brief dance number to Your Love Is Lifting Me Higher will stick in everyone’s mind.
What’s being said on Twitter?
— David Benson (@DavidBensonSays) October 5, 2016
Really enjoyed @BoysBandPlay – a brilliant first night! Catch this classic, rarely-performed play while you can.
— Matt Lucas (@RealMattLucas) October 4, 2016
In a nutshell?
This important, razor sharp revival about the struggle to accept ourselves never misses a beat.
The Boys In The Band plays at the Park Theatre until 30 October. Book yout tickets from the official website today.