Following his first ever STI test, Cormac discovers the unthinkable: he’s contracted everything from the potentially lethal to the irrepressibly itchy. One word rattles around Cormac’s mind as he leaves the doctors – “Bingo.” As Cormac bounces between his sexual past and his present attempts to create a liveable life, he finds belonging in transgression.
Bingo, written and performed by Alan Flanagan, is a story performed with such brutal honestly and realism that it’s hard to believe that this is not a biographic. The true gem of the show is in the writing, it’s naturalistic speech style brings out the charisma and humour within the character of Cormac in such a way that makes the audience instantly want to befriend him. It’s a style of writing and performance that feels genuine and keeps it’s energy and pace throughout. The dialogue throughout the show is more realistic and relatable then within many of the shows in the Westend.
The audience feels increasingly drawn towards the character as he reveals more unsavoury parts of his lifestyle and past experiences. He reveals his secrets with a joke and a smile that makes the audience feel as though they are having an intimate chat rather then watching a rehearsed performance. The character is totally fleshed out and avoids all the usual cliches.
The way the show deals with topics that are still potentially taboo such as HIV fees very of the moment and is a great insight into how the conversation around the disease has changed in recent years. It provides a real, honest insight into a modern HIV diagnosis thanks to current medicines and more more open-attitudes.
Cormac treads the careful balance between weakness and power. The shows relatable, honest dialogue opens the conversation to the audience to allow them to take the message of this performance home with them. Despite it’s occasional dark and serious subject matters the audience is left feeling positive and inspired by this memorable piece.
My ticket was provided in return for an open and honest review.