Review by: Paul Towers, 25 February 2016
Outings by Matthew Baldwin & Thomas Hescott
Seabright Productions, directed by David Grindley
Curve 25th & 26th February 2016
“short, snappy vignettes”
Utilising the very successful format popularised by The Vagina Monologues, four actors perch on stools and read out a collection of stories culled from various social media sources of coming out and being gay.
To begin with they are short, snappy vignettes of that dreaded moment. Mostly they are positive; the lad who is mortified that his mother is so accepting as he was relishing the potential drama of it all. Some uplifting; a 7 year old whose response when his mother told him she was gay was ‘How cool is that?’ Some not so accepting; a woman whose Father wasted years refusing to accept her chosen path, only seeing sense almost on his death bed.
There have to be, along the way, acknowledgment of the various celebrity outings. Tellingly, one declared that we are finally getting to a point where sports stars coming out, in particular, are hardly newsworthy. Surely a good thing.
As a documentary piece it has to include a selection of less savoury, sometimes horrific stories of not so long ago. The first half concluded with a truly barbaric story of a young man who felt pressured into seeking out so-called therapies and endured some practices which, if they occurred in the Third World today, would be condemned by civilised society. Sadly these things were not uncommon in this country in the 60’s and 70’s. Thankfully, in a relatively short space of time, we have moved on in most parts of the world. Although there are States in America who still haven’t outlawed it yet.
Outings is at Curve again on Friday 26th February.
Bookings at www.curveonline.co.uk/whats-on/shows/outings