My Beautiful Laundrette

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This tiny, gay-friendly theatre is on to a winner with Roger Parsley and Andy Graham’s adaptations. The pair’s take on EM Forster’s ‘Maurice’ enjoyed an extended run last year and is currently touring. Now director Tim McArthur presents their stage version of Hanif Kureishi’s ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’, another tale of a young man’s journey to self and sexual discovery in a strong period setting.

While Fiona Russell’s neat design squeezes a whole London neighbourhood (complete with sweetly pimped- and pinked-up launderette) into a pop-up set, the to-and-froing family action doesn’t always make for urgent theatre.

Yannick Fernandes and James Wallwork do nail the playful passion of childhood friends-turned-lovers Omar and Johnny, and Royce Ullah wrings out the comedy as the wheeler-dealer uncle intent on teaching Omar to ‘squeeze the tits off the system’. With ‘The Immigration Debate’ and yuppie values back in play, the love story feels less urgent than Kureishi’s ambivalent invocation of ‘lovely, fuck-everybody England’.


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