Queers by Pat Cash is a winner!
The piece is a collection of monologues, which as a theatrical vehicle is often a little uninspiring and usually disjointed but this is where Cash’s piece surpassed my expectations from the very first scene. Cash is an undeniable talent and shines in a league of his own. I’m a harsh critic but it was difficult to find fault in his writing, the direction by Luke Davies or any of the performances from the accomplished cast. The piece opens with a truly mesmerising performance from Sean Hart as Larry… I forgot for a while that I was at the theatre, this was more like watching a real life wide boy fess up on an episode of Jeremy Kyle. For a production and an Actor to be able to achieve this is impressive! Queers is enlightening and emotionally provoking. I was unwittingly snared into thinking about and connecting with the personal struggles this character was experiencing. The subsequent characters and their scenes packed just as much of a punch.
Zachariah Fletcher as Patricia Pimarché delivered a beautifully conflicted drag queen with more internal fragility than her sassy veneer would initially suggest.
Matthew Hodson as Tom had me on board straight away with his struggle for acceptance and worth in a gay community obsessed with youth and too ready to dispose of its longer standing members in the blink of a well moisturised eye. Matthew conveys the trauma of surviving the 80’s AIDS epidemic both masterfully and subserviently.
Jack Cole as Robbo displayed wonderful flavours of the conflicts and complexities he often creates for himself as a scene queen.
And finally Siân Docksey as Carol ‘the vegan lesbian’ had me struggling to contain my laughter while her delicate and measured performance allowed me to understand how difficult is is for some gay people to fight for their acceptance if they aren’t comfortable waving a flag or screaming for their rights. The silent battle is often the hardest.
I was constantly caught off guard by a laugh that I didn’t see coming or a weepy moment that was brilliant in its clarity. I have followed Pat’s work for a while now and I was incredibly impressed with his last play The Clinic, produced in association with David Stuart and 56 Dean Street’s Wellbeing Programme. I loved the clinic but I was aware that Cash had dramatic narrative a plenty from his exclusive access to Dean Street’s patients so it was delightful to know that he has the capacity and talent as a writer to create such real, well rounded and complex characters. Each of his characters is worthy of their own individual full length play. Luke Davies direction went unnoticed, I saw real people telling their stories not players on a stage, which is the hugest compliment and testament to his skill. Queers left me hungry for more. It’s the perfect length too at just under 1 hour. A great piece of escapism and education for an afternoon of something different. The Kings Head Theatre are offering a great alternative to an afternoon of Netflix with this little gem.
Go see it and have a beer or two while you are there! I’ll finish with a cliche – this is a must see.
Performances each Saturday and Sunday at 14.30 until 22nd November. The King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, N1 1QN
To book tickets CLICK HERE