I Went To A Fabulous Party...

Thu 6th – Sun 30th August 2015


Poppy McLean

at 02:15 on 16th Aug 2015



A disclaimer for what follows: I am neither gay nor, I am reliably informed, a man. It may be that And Davies’ new play following the antics of the tipsy evening get-together of a group of male homosexuals is intended only for an audience likewise genetically and sexually disposed; the fact that the entire audience was instructed to yell “DICK DICK DICK” and “COCK COCK COCK” at the show’s opening may have constituted a delicate hint in this direction.

The show may have contained humour, interest and general pizazz on which I completely missed out. I really hope so. Because to me – and, it seemed, the majority of the po-faced crowd in the dark, sweltering venue – the show was a jumbled mess of unnatural, progression-less dialogue, between an overlarge group of characters so flat you’d need a magnifying glass to see them side-on.

Advertised as a ‘gay comedy’, the show suffered from the grievous defect of assuming that gayness per se was comedy, that the best way to keep an audience entertained for over an hour was to cram every line of the script with teasing reminders that, yes, each of those present enjoyed homosexual sex. Groanworthy wordplay seemed to be the play’s be all and end all, and, while such exchanges as ‘“I’m a bit peckish”, “Your pecker is always hungry”’ or the opening's "I'd like to start with some... lubrication" can evoke wry smiles for the first few minutes, a whole play devoted to them was painful.

Attempted laughs aside, all that unfortunately remained for the audience to watch was a gradually disrobing collection of predominantly sex-obsessed, childish characters, some trapped throughout in over-egged parody – stuffy Chris (Gregory A Smith) and ‘gym bunny’ Darren (Luke Kelly), others shooting for – often successful, but occasionally inaudible – naturalism. Others, like newbie Josh (Carlton Venn) and Tom (Stephen Oswald – who should be commended for his knack for humorous delivery) – appeared to don their individuality only when necessary for the writer to make a Big Point. These moments of abrupt topical discourse were rare, superficial and, as a result, quickly forgotten.

Other jarring additions included the odd attempt at asides to the audience (too infrequent to really establish a rapport), the forced inclusion of a blushing audience member in a striptease, and almost comically overplayed musical interludes of slo-mo mime. Above all, the size of the cast made it hard to know whose relationship woes to care about, and the lack of arresting dialogue or affecting comedy made it difficult to try.

Maybe I just don’t know a good party when I see one, but I’m afraid I simply couldn’t recommend this one to anyone.


Katie Heath-Whyte

at 12:13 on 16th Aug 2015



Imagine watching the world’s most elaborately boring striptease and you might come close to the baffling experience that is I Went To A Fabulous Party...

Taking place at a get-together between friends in a gay couple’s house, I Went To A Fabulous Party... loosely follows the events that take place when a new face is introduced into the mix, instigating conflict and discussion.

Seven men are portrayed in this LGBT ‘comedy’, epitomising gay stereotypes without a hint of irony. They talk, they dance, and they take their clothes off. But mostly, they talk.

A cornucopia of tired innuendoes and crude joking is mixed with an apparent attempt to discuss several issues affecting the gay community. These were discussed as if their writer had read a Wikipedia entry on homosexuality and constructed a dialogue from his findings. Shallow and incoherent, any potential merit was lost in the utter confusion of the play.

The play seems confused about what exactly it is, party host Matt frequently breaking the fourth wall for no apparent reason, and slow-motion sequences interrupting the dialogue in the most unnecessary places.

It is also hard to work out who this play was for – at times it hinted at cabaret but stopped itself before becoming entertaining. Though billed as a comedy, the mindless dialogue failed to amuse or inform any of its audience. Camp without being fun, rude without being funny, neither the actors nor the audience seemed to be enjoying themselves. It was truly as if we were the spectators of the most seedy and dull party ever, and moments of uncomfortable audience interaction even began to feel threatening.

I would love to find out what this play’s writer and director were trying to do with I Went To A Fabulous Party..., though the lacklustre performances of its actors and the countless moments of superfluity does not gesture towards any aim or agenda.

The play, indeed, had been well rehearsed. Effort has clearly been put in, and staging is occasionally effective. Unfortunately, this does little to distract from the vacuous nature of this decisively Un-Fabulous Party.


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