5 Guys Chillin’ is a verbatim drama adapted from over 50 hours of anonymous interviews about the world of chem-sex on the gay scene. ★★
In such an intimate environment in which butt cracks and ball sacks are dangerous close to your pint, it takes a strong actor to keep the audience engaged and the pace of the performance up. Thankfully, actor Elliot Hadley who played one of the Manchurians, was very strong; his natural charm and charisma keeping the performance moving forward where it may have fallen flat.
I’m sorry to say that the piece as a whole did not resonate with me, which may be due to my complete naivety of the whole drugs scene. Thank god there was a glossary in the program otherwise I would have had no idea who the hell Tina was. (it’s crystal meth by the way. Chrystal, christina, tina. Now I get it)
The characters weren’t relatable and were a little too stereotypical for my tastes. Combined with the sweltering heat of the small performance space and the communal sweat of both performers and fellow patrons, it made for a rather uncomfortable evening.
If you have a past with drugs and ‘chilling’ scene, then you’ll likely find this piece powerful. If you don’t you’ll likely just find it shocking and may enjoy watching a documentary more.
5 Guys Chillin is playing at the King’s Head Theatre until the 24th October at 9:30pm Tuesday – Saturday (3pm and 7pm Sunday)
by Nick Baker | @geekwithoutchic