Jordan Seavey's 'post-gay' relationship drama is brilliantly provocative
It’s odd not being fully seen, isn’t it? ‘Homos, or Everyone in America’ is staged in-the-round, with the audience sat right on the edge of the performance space. Yet no matter how close we might feel to the male gay couple at the centre of this story, the actors refuse to acknowledge our presence. For all the warmth and laughter generated by this brilliantly provocative modern-day romance, an invisible wall remains between ‘us’ and ‘them’.
The action unfolds in playwright Jordan Seavey’s hometown, Brooklyn, and explores the relationship between a witty but cynical Writer (Harry McEntire) and a ‘woke’ and romantic Academic (Tyrone Huntley). The roles are brilliantly fleshed out, and McEntire and Huntley generate such a natural chemistry they basically glow.
The two drink, dance, kiss, and passionately debate absolutely everything, but particularly their own conflicted feelings about identity, race and sexuality in early 2000s New York. The Academic believes in progress – surely gay marriage is just around the corner – but the Writer isn’t nearly so certain about progress, romance, the future.
Gradually darkness and doubt rise up through the gaps of Josh Seymour’s forensically choreographed production. Hopeful scenes are abruptly terminated on a note of fear; outpourings of love are juxtaposed with encounters heavy with regret. In between the scenes, the Academic gasps for air, in great pain and unable to find the help or comfort he needs.
Lee Newby’s set – flooded with sand and dotted with display boxes of sweet-smelling toiletries – begins to turn sour. What once felt like a luxury escape starts to feel like a marooned island. It’s all a little too good to be true: a ‘Post Gay Fantasia’ that remains, for now, just that – a fantasy.