★★★★ | 46 Beacon
It’s 1970 and for Robert, the air is heavy with the promise of straight, gay and even group sex as the hedonistic sixties leave behind a legacy of enhanced freedom for gay men.
A suave and handsome British actor, Robert, has invited gauche teenage virgin, Alan, to his Boston hotel room for a drink and a chat (and hopefully an easy no-strings shag without his ‘room mate’ back in London finding out). The gin flows and it’s not just flesh that’s bared as they probe each other in more ways than one. Alan is overwhelmed, unsure of himself and his sexuality. Appearances are deceptive, though and Robert isn’t quite the carefree shagger he initially appears to be.
This is a charming play that’s both warm and witty with plenty of wry humour and a touching message. The pace flags occasionally but picks up again. Overall it’s a resonant play touching on themes of alienation and feeling lost within the life you’ve made that I’m sure will be familiar to lots of us.
The setting might be 47 years ago but as the saying goes: the more things change the more they stay the same. This is an incisive and fascinating glimpse of gay life that whilst humorous, I’m sure will make you wince at times as you recall your own past. Well worth 83 minutes of your time.
46 Beacon plays at Trafalgar Studios until 29th April 2017
Chris is a theatre and book obsessed Midlander who escaped to London. He’s usually to be found slumped in a seat in a darkened auditorium.