Sunday, March 7, 2021
Fashion

GHBoy review – a bold look at chemsex and trauma – The Guardian

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Exploring the life of a male attempting to stop the London chemsex scene, Paul Harvards launching play shows how buried injury can shove its arms into every element of a life, penetrating and poking, knocking things out of location. GHBoy is a valiant attempt to comprehend the long process of healing after abuse, however this overpacked play does not have a needed intensity.The attention is on 35-year-old Robert (Jimmy Essex)– unclear, indecisive, struggling to offer up his hard-partying days– and his more youthful partner Sergi (Marc Bosch)– innocent, jolly, believing hes found the love of his life. Their relationship is framed by a story of a murderer in east London who is drugging and raping younger guys he meets on Grindr. Loosely based on the real story of killer Stephen Port, the killer keeps appearing on the news and in Roberts problems.
Robert is a complicated character, but everyone else feels 2D in contrast. Harvard layers the script nicely so that numerous scenes are paired, the discussions wisely matched and interwoven. Less ingenious is the treatment trope, which is used to discharge a heavy dose of exposition. Between Roberts art treatment sessions, his headaches and his sexual fantasies, theres so much subconscious laid out on stage, little room is left for subtext.The most dynamic scenes are with Roberts rotation of fantasy hookups, each played by a flexible Sylvester Akinrolabu, who uses fewer clothes each time he appears on phase. But Jon Pashleys direction is distractingly bouncy, too worried with the audience in the traverse staging to allow any of the characters to remain still for long. The art-therapy sessions– staged with and without real painting– stop working to encourage, and feel more like a dress rehearsal than the genuine thing.The play dances around the idea of institutionalised homophobia and why gay male sexual assault isnt taken as seriously by the authorities, a subject that longs to be unravelled even more. With some vibrant ideas and strong efficiencies, GHBoy is a motivating very first play that hasnt quite found its focus.

Checking out the life of a guy attempting to quit the London chemsex scene, Paul Harvards debut play demonstrates how buried trauma can push its tentacles into every aspect of a life, poking and probing, knocking things out of place. GHBoy is a worthy effort to comprehend the long process of healing after abuse, however this overpacked play does not have a required intensity.The attention is on 35-year-old Robert (Jimmy Essex)– unsettled, indecisive, having a hard time to give up his hard-partying days– and his younger boyfriend Sergi (Marc Bosch)– innocent, jolly, thinking hes found the love of his life. Between Roberts art therapy sessions, his headaches and his sexual dreams, theres so much subconscious laid out on stage, little room is left for subtext.The most dynamic scenes are with Roberts rotation of fantasy connections, each played by a flexible Sylvester Akinrolabu, who uses fewer clothes each time he appears on phase. The art-therapy sessions– staged with and without real painting– fail to encourage, and feel more like a gown rehearsal than the real thing.The play dances around the concept of institutionalised homophobia and why gay male sexual assault isnt taken as seriously by the cops, a topic that longs to be deciphered even more. With some strong performances and vibrant concepts, GHBoy is an encouraging very first play that hasnt quite found its focus.

Theatre
Charing Cross theatre, LondonPaul Harvards launching play, about homophobia and sexual assault, reveals pledge and does not have however has an intricate lead focus

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