Gypsy Queen achieves a lot in a single act. At the heart of this 70-minute boxing drama is an unexpectedly sweet gay love story, and a relationship shaped both by the macho world of sport and the expectations of close-knit families.
Cartoonopolis was first performed in the Playhouse Studio a couple of years ago, where it came into existence thanks to actor Lewis Bray’s involvement with YEP [Young Everyman and Playhouse]. Along with Matt Rutter and Chris Tomlinson, that company’s artistic director and associate director respectively, Bray’s fledgling idea – to do a play about his brother’s autism – began to take flight.
Notably more settled into its new home of the Invisible Wind Factory than last year, the event is presented in two-hour long episodes and action is (kind of) recapped at the top of each one, so audience members without the luxury of 33 hours to spare can come and go. I saw only two episodes on Saturday night, and wished it was more.
GP Margaret (Denise Kennedy) keeps her patients at arms’ length, not only simply to get through each day’s crippling workload, but also to avoid confronting her personal problems. Nicholas (Graham Hicks) is a hypochondriac taxi driver who is about to push her patience to the limit as he bids to overstay his strict ten minute appointment.