Hot Gay Time Machine review at Other Palace, London – ‘energetic satirical cabaret’
Camp stereotypes and the class system have always been mainstays of British comedy. Long before homosexuality was decriminalised in the UK, there were camp, albeit closeted comedians. Hot Gay Time Machine is in some way a reaction to this.
Zak Ghazi-Torbati and Toby Marlow are a pair of high energy entertainers with a Beyonce fixation. A product of MTV and celebrity culture, they are bursting with gay pride, ready to party and appear to have no off-switch. Despite the 1990s dance anthems and pop hits that supplement the duo’s effervescent meet-and-greet, the meat and potatoes of this cabaret are their hilarious original musical numbers.
Zak, on keyboards, and Toby, as frontman, draw loosely on their own experiences and they have songs to mark the important moments of every gay man’s sexual awakening: coming out to your mother, the politics of the school locker room and the fact that even the most platonic of gay friendships can often result in a sexual encounter.
As well as the affectionate lampooning of cis young white gay men, the pair also poke fun at class stereotypes with working class Toby vaguely unsettled by Zak’s middle class air of confidence.
Hot Gay Time Machine is, in many ways, quite old fashioned in its approach but it’s delivered with verve, the comic songs are well constructed and the occasional dance breaks are positively lethal.
Through their appearances at the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringes, the pair have developed an enthusiastic fanbase though it remains to be seen quite how much mileage there is in the act.