Saturday Night Forever review at Underbelly Med Quad, Edinburgh – ‘pitch-perfect performance’
For various reasons, a Saturday night on the town in Cardiff city is a bit of a nightmare for Lee. His boyfriend Matthew lives for them though, cherishing the party atmosphere in the chaos of the city’s gay scene. Lee’s a bit more of a homebody and when he unceremoniously dumps Matthew he settles into a quieter pace. When he meets a new lover, things are very different, but prejudice is lurking on the city streets and soon the nightmare becomes a harrowing reality.
Roger Williams’ monologue is a genuine rollercoaster of human emotion. It’s difficult not to fall in love with Lee – he’s so utterly guileless and yet deeply vulnerable. When he finds true love, we fall with him and thanks to some masterful writing, when things go wrong, we are swept up in the horror of it all.
It’s an extremely manipulative piece of writing and also, perhaps, a little predictable, but thanks mostly to Delme Thomas’ wholly absorbing performance, this doesn’t lessen the power of the story.
Kate Wasserberg’s economic direction and Zakk Hein’s ingenious lighting design add to the overarching tone of the monologue but ultimately this is Thomas’ gig and Williams’ colourful prose is a perfect fit.
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