★★★★ | Kings Cross [Remix], Camden People’s Theatre, London
Take a journey to 1980’s London, specifically the King’s Cross area, through the storytelling of Tom Marshman, in the new show Kings Cross [Remix]. The one-man show, at the Camden People’s Theatre, is a tour de force performance by Marshman, too young to remember the stories he’s telling, yet he tells them so vividly, with such authority and believability that he makes us actually believe he was there.
Through the use of video and audio tape recordings of the people who were actually around during those times, Marshman weaves together these stories in a 60-minute show to great effect. He talks about the long gone disco Bagely’s nightclub, the denizens of King Cross including the hookers and the club kids, a unique story about the late and great Leigh Bowery, and grainy video footage of the once popular gay bar and club The Bell (this footage can also be found on Youtube). But Marshman also transports us to this decade when lots of our fellow friends were dying of AIDS, and one audio clip of a man who is a patient representative at a local clinic remembers the days when gay men were diagnosed with GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency) and were in their last days as there no hope for them. Marshman also chillingly brings up the arrival of patient zero – the man who introduced HIV into England. This and more is all told with the songs of Donna Summers’ “Last Dance” and lots of other disco classics as the soundtrack, and footage of Jimmy Somerville in his early days who can now be found from time to time drinking at his local bar Central Station. Marshman’s show celebrates a time when the scene in Kings Cross was more fun but also a bit dangerous and not posh as it is now. I
It’s a great show and Marshman does a very good job in telling these stories.
Kings Cross (Remix) plays at Camden’s People’s Theatre until 26th May.
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.