Circa at Old Red Lion Theatre

Tickets were gifted in exchange for review

silhouette of two men against a red light

Most people get to be happy with one person. I don’t see why I should have it any different.

Circa explores the blurred identity of the gay relationship in the modern age. Following the story of one man’s romantic life, we are taken through the different relationships and encounters he experiences over a period of thirty years. Joining him through the joys and pitfalls of trying to find love and fulfilment as a gay man.

The twenty-first century. Being gay is supposedly more integrated than ever. Marriage is legal, parenthood is possible and #LoveWins is trending on twitter. The time has arrived to settle down with the man you love for a life of lasting companionship. But in a world where sex is readily available, and with a history of sexual freedom; what does it mean to be in a gay relationship in the modern age? And why are so many gay men still lonely?

Circa is, on the surface, a rather straight forward, domestic and linear tale, following the life of a single gay male through his adolescent to middle age.  However the joy of this play is in its quiet powers, its ability to create an attachment with the audience so effortlessly and it’s almost cosy nostalgic feel.

Following “The Young Man” through his life, this play doesn’t have any major twists or truly dramatic moments, yet what it does well is portraying realistic domestic tension. Watching “The Young Man” find his feet and his comfort within his own skin and relationships feels joyous to watch.  Its moments of genuine humour play well to the audience and its pace is steady but consistent throughout.

The innocence and naivety of the lead character really draws the audience in, and soon they begin to feel almost protective of this charming young man.  It feels almost nostalgic at times and captures the time period simply yet effectively.

The script can sometimes head towards being cliched however, thankfully the performances of the actors save the flaws in the script so it still feels authentic.  Characters, on the whole seemed fully realised with the unfortunate exception of one character who seemed frustratingly one dimensional.  Similarly, there was just one scene which didn’t feel as though it added anything to the overall plot and character development, so should maybe have been left on the cutting room floor.

This play has a quiet power that makes it worth a watch. Circa is on at the Old Red Lion Theatre until the 30th of March tickets are available from £16.50.

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Tickets were gifted in exchange for review

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