Trafalgar Studios 2, London – until 3 February 2018
Guest reviewer: Shaun Dicks
As a member of the LGBT community, I know, we all face our fair share of struggles. One of those struggles is the loss of family, whether it’s you leaving them or them severing ties with you. Strangers in Between tackles the subject of creating your own family with wit, humour and wonderful storytelling. It’s the story of Shane, a 16-year-old boy who runs away from his home and family in suburban Australia to Kings Cross, Sydney. The story follows Shane as he tries to navigate these new surroundings and new friends whilst carrying old baggage.
The story and message is a very relatable one; one that is very well crafted by Tommy Murphy. Murphy’s crafting of the story and characters is genius, the script is witty and humorous without even trying. The writing is outstanding, modern scriptwriters please take note. The direction from Adam Spreadbury-Maher is masterful, the show being slick, punchy without being overbearing.
Now we come to the cast. No words can be used to describe how outstanding the all-male cast of three are. You can tell that the relationship between them is strong. They are comfortable with each other and they have an undeniable chemistry.
Roly Botha as Shane was truly endearing, creating a gem of a character. Dan Hunter was charming as Will but complex as Ben. Hunter’s ability to change between roles was brilliant. The best I’ve saved until last, Stephen Connery-Brown as haggard old queen with a heart, Peter was simply perfection. Peter was witty, humorous, serious, kind and loving; the complete character. Connery-Brown isn’t just talented, he is an actor young performers should look up to. He gives a masterclass on how theatre should be done. These men took this script, ran with it and then some.
As a gay man myself, I relate to this story. It didn’t make me feel just for a second but a very long while. It made me emotional and think for hours after the show. That is a signifier that it is excellent theatre. The Kings Head Theatre is renowned for producing brilliant LGBT theatre, Strangers In Between falls into that bracket and is more than deserving of its West End transfer to Trafalgar Studios. Everyone needs to see this show. Support the wonderful Kings Head Theatre, support Strangers In Between. It deserves to be seen. It deserves to be recognised. It is the best thing you will see.
Tell your friends, family and work colleagues. Everyone needs to see Strangers In Between!
Strangers in Between runs at the Trafalgar Studios until 3rd February 2018
photo credit: Scott Rylander