Robert Hampton

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30th July 2012

Countdown to Pride: Queertet
Posted by at 6.58pm | No responses | Stage

Tucked away on the second floor of an anonymous building, located down a little side street off Liverpool’s dock road, behind a McDonald’s drive-through and amidst abandoned industrial units, is The Lantern Theatre.

Tonight was my first time there, to see Queertet, a set of four short plays, each with a gay theme. The show is one of several events being staged as part of the Pride Fringe.

The Lantern is an intimate venue – a little too intimate, perhaps, as we were packed in like sardines and despite the best efforts of an oscillating fan, it got very warm in there. I was seated just a few feet away from the stage, but at times I struggled to see what was going on as the seating isn’t tiered.

The posters mentioned that the plays would be introduced by two people from Channel 4’s My Transsexual Summer, but they weren’t there, for reasons which were not explained.

The plays then. Linda & Sue was a story of two women in love, until jealousy rears its ugly head. Half a Bottle Gone follows the events of one night where three friends enjoy a little bit too much wine, which results in some uncomfortable secrets being revealed. Sweats was set in a sauna, with a fun duologue between two regular patrons, who spend the entire play wearing towels (and sometimes no towel – and there’s me without my opera glasses).

The first three plays were excellent, but the finale was a tour de force – Madam Reprobate, an amazing about a university student brings his posh boyfriend to his council estate home to meet his very working-class mother. An amazing sitcom script peppered with filthy one-liners, brought to life by sparkling performance from the three actors, who managed immaculate comic timing despite the music bleeding through from the cabaret bar downstairs. It brought the house down.

Queertet was only on for two nights, last Friday and Saturday, but it was a great deal of fun, and I’d definitely come back to see the next show Grin Productions produce. And it cost just £8 for a ticket. Bargain!

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