Bunker Theatre, London – until 28 September 2018
Sean broke up with Tim because he’s just too fabulous and refuses to try to fit in. But now Sean’s sister is getting married back home in Ireland and he doesn’t have anyone to bring to the wedding that will suitably piss off his conservative, Catholic family. With his bestie Callista in tow, he embarks on one outrageous Tinder date after another as the trip home gets ever closer.
Four stand mics and a similarly numbered ensemble create a busy, noisy world of Skype calls to Sean’s family, app notifications, club nights and one-night stands. The quiet moments stand out all the more with this approach, though Sean is often so overwhelmed that it’s difficult to hear him. Otherwise it’s a fitting, stylistic choice that accurately captures how stimulating modern life is.
John King’s script has some Greek myth references that give it a nice touch but doesn’t add much to the totally contemporary story. It’s very much set in the here and now, and any classical parallels are lost. The exposition takes a touch too much time to build and director Robbie Taylor Hunt doesn’t quite capture Sean’s increasing urgency as the wedding gets ever closer, but King gives us a couple of great pay-offs. They lead to a heartwarming and encouraging ending despite the conflict between Sean’s queerness and his Catholic family’s values.
The staging is sharp and fun, and the performances are energised, making this a fairly solid production. Some dramaturgical tightening and a look at the sound levels will go a long way in helping the script cohere and the production to have a bit more polish.