19 January 2019

Coming Clean

This Kings Head Theatre production has a short run at the Trafalgar Studios, near Trafalgar Square - finishing on 2nd February.

Whilst the play was first performed in 1982, it still feels fresh - as the question for gay couples agreeing rules as to what extra curricular activities they are allowed, are as valid today as they were 37 years ago.  And whilst some reviewers have complained about a lack of depth - I thought that the focus on a single issue, using well developed characters, packed a serious punch.

Whilst the publicity photos feature the beautiful Tom Lambert, and the handsome Stanton Plummer-Cambridge, the other two actors Lee Knight and Elliot Hadley have larger roles (but aren't quite as photogenic).  Elliot's is the most accomplished of the actors, both in his main role, and his minor (german speaking) appearance towards the end.  Lee also puts in an ejoyable performance.

Tom really has a beautiful body that we see in it's full glory in the second half - and he's a decent actor too!  Stanton seemed a bit annoyed at appearing naked, and his performance seemed the weakest of the four actors.  The adverts for the play feature warnings/boasts about "full frontal nudity" - and you never know whether it's going to be natural or forced.  In The Inheritance the nudity was brief, unneccesary and seemily there just for titillation, whereas in 5 Guys Chillin it was much more natural that a play about gay sex should feature nudity - although I can't remember how much there actually was!

The nudity in Coming Clean was probably somewhere in between - it wasn't as brief as The Inheritance, so it didn't feel quite as tokenistic.  But I'm not sure it was actually needed or integral to the play.  However, I'm sure it helps sell tickets - and I'm sure the rather aged audience (of mostly gay men) when I attended appreciated it.  And if you want the best view - the seats on the right hand side (low numbers) are probably best!

Aside from the nudity (which may provide good "wank bank" fodder) - the play is definitely worth going to see, to explore the central issue.  Although if it was written today it would probably have been a single act 90 minute production - it really has aged incredibly well.


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