Two Short Plays About Gays: The Diva Drag ~ Hope Theatre, London

Two Short Plays About Gays stays at Hope Theatre, Islington until Saturday 24 September:

Star Rating: *****

More fablas than I can say, more ‘mazing than ‘lympics! This piece is an absolute triumph and the two-hander cast which comprises of Gregory Ashton and the ever amazing Louise Jameson as son and mother. Written by Lesley Ross and directed by Nigel Fairs, it’s a tale of a Shelley Winters obsessed Drag Queen called Darren/Gladys who has been disowned his mother. The short play cleverly explores Mum’s motives for throwing her gay son out and in turn examines that son’s retaliation which involves dressing up and performing as his estranged mother.

Not only are there some absolutely corking lines in there such as “more ‘mazing than ‘lympics” and a cracking welsh accent from the glorious Louise Jameson, but this piece shows an in-depth view of the history that turned the mother into a ‘monster’. The result being that her son performs as this ‘monster’. Ashton and Jameson are a duo de force, believable as the two flawed characters who have never been able to confront their demons and repair their relationship until its too late. Ashton also treated us to his superb singing voice during this piece and it was a great showcase for his versatility as well as a fantastic platform for Jameson to demonstrate another side to her abilities.

This production was also performed with minimal props and it allowed the writing and the performances to shine. I thought that the costumes also added an extra dimension to the two larger than life characters and I enjoyed the way that one particular item of clothing was used to connect the two of them. It was a moving slant given that Darren/Gladys’ mother had passed away.

Another joyous piece of theatre which surely has the potential to be a longer play, in the future.



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