Last night, to get me in the mood for a trip to the Edinburgh Festival (in all it's guises) next week, I went along to the Trafalgar Studios off Trafalgar Square to attend the opening night of The Pride, a play written by Alexi Kaye Campbell and set in both 1958 and the present day.
This often hilarious but also very touching piece of theatre explores themes of honesty and openness in relationships and centres around 3 main characters who are involved in a love triangle. Themes of homosexual behaviour and society's take on what is and isn't permissible are explored through the time shift which is cleverly portrayed both in the performances and the staging.
Given the recent law in Russia forbidding the promotion of homosexuality to anyone under the age of 18, this play is very contemporary and absolutely right for now. The cast even came on stage after the first curtain call with placards stating 'To Russia With Love', a reminder that in some parts of the world the movement for equality and recognition is still as it was here in the UK in 1958.
|Image from The Evening Standard|
Philip, Oliver and Sylvia are played by Al Weaver as Oliver, Hayley Atwell as Sylvia and Harry Hadden-Paton as Philip. Comic relief was brought by Mathew Horne who made the audience laugh out loud with his characterful portrayal of a role-playing rent boy - this particular role requiring a Nazi military costume, and the effusive editor of a men's magazine (thinks Nuts not Esquire).
All four actors were highly believable and the play itself well-written and thought provoking. Catch it while you can as it is on a limited run until November 9.
The Pride is at The Trafalgar Studios, London.