BWW Review: SEX/CRIME, The Glory

BWW Review: SEX/CRIME, The Glory

BWW Review: SEX/CRIME, The GloryFor those that are unaware of this venue, The Glory is a popular and welcoming pub in Haggerston, East London. It's a place where people come together to drink, party and relax after a stressful day. Underneath the space is an intimate cabaret room where a variety of performance regularly takes place.

But in this instance the room has been transformed into a dungeon of sorts. It's the playing area of character A, an escort with a niche clientele. A's job is to recreate the crime scenes of serial killers that target gay men. This is a whole new kind of fetish, one that character B is happy to indulge in.

After his successful run of Vincent River at the Park Theatre, Robert Chevara takes on another queer text in Alexis Gregory's intense and twisted tale. The piece has a clear zing to it; the text is shocking but at the same time feels realistic. The blurb pens it a queer thriller and it definitely delivers on this.

Gregory's script shakes up the stigma around fetishism, making the comment that as a society we fetishize everything - depending how you view things, we're all a bit twisted. The dialogue pierces hard but overall the writing possesses a beautiful rhythmic lyricism, that's a joy to hear aloud.

There's no denying Gregory's playwriting talent, but what should also be commended is his performative skill. Playing B he exudes lots of energy, but also brings to the role a level of sensitive vulnerability. His on-stage partner Jonny Woo is just as brilliant; generating a lot of playfulness and humour, blended with a dominating intensity, in his characterisation of A.

On the surface level it seems that Gregory is only focusing on the sadistic side of queer relationships, however that is only one layer. He goes much deeper, exploring the loneliness felt amongst gay men, discussing how many turn to other vices instead of human connection.

I've seen a lot of plays recently that comment on queerness, but Sex/Crime is one that offers something fresh to the conversation. It's dark and mysterious, sexy and engaging, but above all of this, it's something that's genuinely unique in the theatre scene right now.

Sex/Crime at the Glory until 28 April

Photo credit: Jane Hobson

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