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Bottom review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘charming examination of sexual stereotyping in gay men’

Willy Hudson in Bottom at Summerhall, Edinburgh Willy Hudson in Bottom at Summerhall, Edinburgh
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Willy Hudson is struggling to get on top. He’s been around the block a little and feels he knows a thing or two about sex, but this is the first time that he’s been on a date without being off his face. He’s usually the bottom but now he feels he may have to be the top and that’s a whole new ball game.

Bottom is Hudson’s light-hearted observation on the nature of sexual roles in same-sex relationships. Nature pretty much determines this in straight culture but gay men feel the need to be far more blunt. It’s an abruptness that rattles Hudson and it’s one of the reasons he identifies as queer rather than gay. Gay culture habitually re-enforces sexual stereotyping, whereas queer culture encourages a far more fluid arrangement.

Hudson’s dizzy but amiable stage presence takes a bit of getting used to. The staging is a little chaotic, especially the random dance break, but beneath the countless Beyonce references and dinosaur undies there’s an important message being played out. It’s about seizing self respect in a world that constantly demands more work for less reward. Sometimes dropping things down a gear and taking your time will help you grow as a person.

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Verdict
Charming, if slightly chaotic, examination of sexual stereotyping in gay men
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