Rush, King’s Head London, 3***: William Russell



by Willi Richards.


The King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1QN


Runs 2hr 5 mins One interval

TICKETS: 0207 226 8561.


Review: William Russell 8 August.


Super heroes, spies, lies, truth & love

Very well acted, but badly in need of trimming down to size, Willi Richards’ first play sets up a fascinating encounter between a middle aged man and a 20 year old over the same man. Man, played impressively by Mark Gillis, is a successful diplomat, business man, something well paid who is in a gay marriage but he also has a relationship with Lad, the equally intriguing Kane Surry. They play games – on is a secret agent, the other a super hero and Man likes to lavish treats on Lad as a way of widening his horizon, and Lad enjoys them. It is a no strings relationship although Man likes pulling them. But Lad meets Boy, a 20 year old hairdresser, played by Omari Douglas, flushed with the innocence of youth and moving from hostility to understanding beautifully. It is a fling as far as Lad is concerned, but it turns out to be anything but as Boy falls in love believing that if he gives himself to someone that is it. Man wants to clear the air, to keep his life as it is, but not to destroy the relationship between Lad and Boy – or maybe he does. As for Lad, well being the beloved has its compensations. Finding out how it all ends is intriguing, the playing is good but the exposition needs more work which this production should allow Richards to do. The staging by director Joseph Winters also involves an awful lot of prop shifting and emptying of bags full of clothes and things needed for the next scene which clearly stretches the actors about as much as it does the audience. The second half when this approach is more or less abandoned works far better. But that said Rush is a worth while piece of new writing in the theatre’s Queer Season.

Boy: Omari Douglas.

Man: Mark Gillis.

Lad: Kane Surrey.

Director: Joseph Winters.

Designer: Carl Robertshaw.

Costume Designer: Joey A Frenette.

Movement Director: Luis Gallo Mudarra.


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