★★★★ | Tumulus, London

(C) Darren Bell

There’s a mound in Hampstead Heath where dead bodies of gay men are being found. It’s a tumulus (a mound), and the story behind the tumulus is disturbingly and jarringly portrayed and performed in a show of the same name at The Soho Theatre.

It’s a life of drugs, sex, parties, and unfortunately murder in this production where gay men PnP (Party and Play – code words for drugs with sex). But in particular one gay man, Anthony, who works at the British Museum as a curator (a fantastic Ciaran Owens), through phone apps (we know which ones), finds himself in this world of chemicals and sex.

In this world he encounters men around his age (Ian Hallard) and much younger men (Harry Lister Smith), who are also like him – living a life where there are no bounds and no boundaries. But gay men are winding up dead in Hampstead Heath, and Anthony might have just stumbled on the idea that there is a serial killer of gay men out there. All this happens in an explosive one hour of theatre that will awaken your senses and your mind.

Tumulus is a show that is taut, tight, but never loses it’s edge, thanks to sharp writing by Christopher Adams and direction by Matt Steinberg. It’s got a great cast, especially Owens as the lead character.

He takes us on this journey with him, in our face and right up our arses.

Tumulus plays at the Soho Theatre until 4th May 2019

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