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BWW Review: DUMBLEDORE IS SO GAY, The Vaults

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BWW Review: DUMBLEDORE IS SO GAY, The Vaults

BWW Review: DUMBLEDORE IS SO GAY, The Vaults
Following their collaboration with My Dad's Gap Year, Tom Wright reunites with actor Alex Britt for this magical coming of age fantasy, only this time the writer is in the director's chair. Potter fanatic Jack is hopelessly in love with his best friend Ollie. Navigating his way through the daily struggles of school and still processing his sexuality, everything comes down to trial and error for the young teen. With his trusty time-turner device, however, Jack is able to revisit events and change his actions.

The simple set forces the actors to do all of the work in terms of storytelling and they should each be commended for ensuring the pace never falters. The vast majority of the story is told by Britt. It's a tall order but the actor exudes an endearing sense of warmth that invites us into Jack's world. Britt is captivating throughout with even the slightest mannerism or facial flicker conveying a multitude of emotions. He's certainly an actor to watch. Max Percy and Charlotte Dowding are also a delight with the two actors multi-rolling. While some of their characters work better than others, they do well to distinguish their different roles. Dowding's hilarious French Teacher is a particular highlight.

Society has made tremendous progress in terms of our acceptance for those who identify as LGBTQ+, however there is still so much work to be done. Sadly being gay is all too often still seen as rendering you 'different' or 'not normal'. Accepting one's sexuality is a very individual journey but this magical and memorable play carries universal themes and doesn't shy away from confronting them. The use of time travel affords the opportunity to address homosexuality from different viewpoints, highlighting changing attitudes. The device could easily have come over as a cheap gimmick but thanks to Wright's sensitive direction, the beautiful writing and the impressive ability of the actors, it simply works.

Robert Holtom's script sizzles with wit, humour and an abundance of Harry Potter references. The balance of laugh out loud moments with the tackling of weighty themes is just right and a great deal is said in sixty minutes, allowing you to leave the theatre uplifted yet pensive.

A perfect potion of emotion, humour and social commentary, this is an example of why the Vault Festival is so important in providing a platform for original voices that have something significant to say.

Dumbledore Is So Gay at The Vaults until 1 March

Photo credit: Gabriel Mokake


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