5 Guys Chillin’

Theatre

C Too (Venue 4)

Time 23:00

3rd till 29th Aug

****

In this piece, we experience a world in a livingroom where chemsex is the norm, where we can see some degree of support and care between the 5 characters, though only until it risks their next high or hook-up. It’s a brutal gathering that begins as a normalised casual sex and drugs party that goes about as wrong as it can. Nobody escapes unscathed.

I love that at the end the final scene remains in place even as the audience ends. No perky grinning bow-taking here. It’s also interesting to play with the idea of gay shaming. In clear breach of assimilationist sensibilities, here we have a bisexual asian and 4 gay white guys (one of whom was previously married, another who previously identified as bi) who speak openly about their sexual histories, promiscuity, sexual health, identity, kink, drug usage and unconventional relationships.

This is how men treat men, the loving, jealous, possessive, dismissive, predatory, comforting, toxic behaviour we display towards one another.  Like a chemsex session (don’t judge!) it’s not as sexy as it seems beforehand, the reality is more problematic and frightening.  Nobody’s really that likeable either, these lads are very much our slamming shadow-selves.  You might need to google some terms (not at work) next day.

This is not a gentle chilled-out ride, it’s a verbatim screaming surge of sex and drugs and won’t be to everyone’s taste.  But I know people like this, either as friends or temporary acquaintances, shall we say? This is what’s been happening in our community and is getting more prevalent, spreading further. If we don’t look at it honestly and learn about it, we won’t be ready when it hits.  There’s also fragility and compassion here too, the human queer soul still trying to reassert itself through a chemical rush.