Robert Hampton

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13th November 2011

Dream a little Dream
Posted by at 10.25pm | 3 responses | Stage

Friday night I went with Andrew to see Beautiful Thing at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. Nearly two decades after it was written, it’s still surely the finest thing Jonathan Harvey has ever done. His trademark pop culture references perhaps do date the script a bit, but I wouldn’t have wanted them to update it; this is a play that is very much of it’s time (and a namecheck for Bob’s Full House is always going to please me, personally).

I certainly can’t fault this production: it’s well-staged with universally excellent performances, especially from the actors playing Jamie and Ste.

The film adaptation was the first gay-themed film I ever saw, as a 20-year-old proto-gay. I remember racing upstairs with the Amazon package and holding the DVD in my hands, regarding it with the same sense of wonder that Jamie and Ste have for the smuggled copy of Gay Times. I watched the DVD with the remote control permanently in one hand, ready to switch to something more innocuous if my mum barged in unexpectedly, as she had a habit of doing.

The final scene of the play, as with the film, doesn’t fails to bring a tear to the eye.

Anyway, the play is on at the Royal Exchange until 3rd December. I highly recommend you go and see it, but be quick – tickets are reportedly selling out fast!

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3 Responses
  1. Comment by Ian Jones
    14th November 2011 at 11:01 am

    I remember going to see the film when it first came out. It was on at the old 051 cinema at the bottom of Mount Pleasant. It really choked me up, so it was probably just as well there weren’t many others at the screening. I have to admit I’ve always found the Mama Cass-obsessed girl a bit annoying, but I guess that’s kind of the point.

    I take it the scene of them running through the forest isn’t quite the same on stage!

  2. Comment by Robert
    14th November 2011 at 10:46 pm

    That scene just isn’t there. In fact, a lot of scenes from the film (everything set away from the tower block) are not in the play. Doesn’t really hurt the overall production but it’s a bit jarring if, like me, you have the film embedded in your memory.

  3. Pingback by 2011 – more like Twenty E-Heaven! « Robert Hampton
    31st December 2011 at 5:04 pm

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