14th Mar2017

Southern Baptist Sissies (Theatre)

by timbaros

stag watermark sissies6There’s something in the holy water at a Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas because all of the boys there are gay. And they’re not the only ones who have a story to tell. It all unravels in Southern Baptist Sissies, the new show at Above the Stage Theatre.

Southern Baptist Sissies is actually two shows in one. Four boys live in a religious community where they spend their days praying and the rest of the time all they can think about are other boys! Then in a very hilarious, emotional and witty way, we see these boys grow up to become young men, full of passion, love and in one case, regret. Separately there are scenes set in a gay drag bar where two barflies have a conversation about their lives, their adventures and their regrets while the young men from the church segments portray other characters in the bar. It’s genius!!!

stag watermark sissies4

Southern Baptist Sissies cleverly intertwines both stories while we get to know a bit about each character. Mark (Jason Kirk) does an outstanding job as the narrator who is also in love with the very sexy and muscular TJ (Daniel Klemens), whose other character is a sexy go go boy in the gay drag bar. James Phoon is a revelation as Benny, the most feminine of the boys, yet as alter ego Miss Iona Taylor, he’s the star of the show at the drag bar. The scene where’s he’s disrobing while pouring his heart out is absolutely stunning. And last but not least there is Andrew (Hugh O’Donnell), a sensitive young man who unfortunately has a very disapproving mother (Janet Prince). Don Cotter (as Preston) and Julie Ross (as Odette) are brilliant as the couple who exchange stories at the bar; two older people looking back at the past while contemplating what’s left of their future, with Preston always ogling the young men in the bar. It’s all fantastically put together in a fab script by Del Shores and superb direction by Gene David Kirk.

After a few mediocre shows, Above the Stag has really upped their game with this show. It’s funny, relevant, emotional and at the end literally had the audience in tears. There are still tickets left for a few performances – BOOK THEM NOW – it’s a show you definitely don’t want to miss! If, and when, this show sells out, hopefully Above the Stag will be able to re-stage it when they move to a larger venue just down the road. More people really need to see this show.

For tickets, please go to:

http://www.abovethestag.com/shows/

Off
06th Dec2016

Beauty on the Piste – Theatre

by timbaros

img_8415nIt’s Panto season in case you’ve been hiding under a rock, and with that comes shows that are silly and campy, some good and more than a few not so good. But does it really matter?

This year’s panto at Above the Stag is ‘Beauty on the Piste,’ a reimagining of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and it’s exactly what you would expect, but perhaps a bit less. This is the plot, in a nutshell: Morag (David Moss) and her son Mac (an adorable Ross Tucker) own a tea house high up in the mountains in a town called Les De Nice (Les Dennis – cue laugh here). Passing by the tea house is the young lithe and blond boy Beau (Joshua Oakes-Rogers) and his father Gustav (Andrew Truluck). Beau is eternally horny and always on Grindr (we’re getting tired of Grindr being in almost every gay play nowadays). But nearby is where The Beast (Jamie Coles) lives, behind huge gates in an old mansion, and he’s hardly ever seen. One night Morag and Gustav decide to take a walk to get to know each other better, but they are kidnapped by The Beast, and it’s up to Morag and Beau to go looking for them. They find them in The Beast’s home, and Beau trades places with his father to let him free, and it’s only a matter of time before sparks fly between Beau and The Beast. But trouble lies on the horizon; the gay Sebastian St. Moritz (Simon Burr), who owns lots of the property in Les De Nice, wants to raise the rent of the tea house, so what’s the newly rescued Morag and her son going to do? Throw in Mabel the Fairy (a cute Briony Rawie), and The Beasts housekeeper – Heidi (Ellen Butler) – who keeps morphing into various items one finds in the house- and what you’ve got is a show, with a sing-a-long, that’s full of glitter and glee. Does it matter that the songs are awful? No! Does it matter that this production is not one of the Stag’s better shows? No! And does it matter that most (if not all) of the cast can’t sing? Of course not! Why? Because you’re not going to see ‘Beauty on the Piste’ because it is sold out for the rest of it’s run! So perhaps console (or congratulate) yourself and buy a ticket to their next production – ‘Bitches Ahoy’ – a show that bills itself as a ‘gay holiday hilarity’ – hopefully it’s a return to the Stag’s better quality shows. Just one month to go until Panto season ends, whew!

To buy tickets to ‘Bitches Ahoy’, which starts from January 19th, please go here:

What’s On

Off
14th Sep2016

Party (Theatre)

by timbaros

14bfb5b1943a5c0d1ca5e35adbe44c72There’s a party going on in Vauxhall and you’re all invited!

‘Party,’ a play at the Above the Stag theatre, is about seven gay men who get together one evening to hang out, chat, be together, and basically talk about sex, as gay men do! And what a party it is! It involves alcohol, lots of alcohol, where seven handsome and hunky guys pretty much up for anything, play a game called Fact or Fantasy, a bit like Truth or Date, which involves, of course, male nudity – all taking place in a cozy living room.

‘Party, ’written by David Dillon in 1992, originally ran in Chicago before moving to New York, and has even been produced internationally. For this version, directed by Gene David Kirk, the party, and action, takes place in a British man’s living room, with references to British culture, news, and the requisite British accents! It’s the home of Kevin (Nic Kyle), who is letting out his extra bedroom to Peter (Stefan Gough). In attendance at the party are dancer Brian (Jamie Firth), teacher Ray (Ben Kavanagh), Philip (Lucas Livesy), James (Sam Goodchild) and young and innocent Andy (Tom Leach). They’re all friends, good friends, but when they decide to play Fact or Fiction, a game where one man is to tell the truth, lie, or act out someone else’s fantasy, secrets are revealed, as well as skin, lots of skin, in a game where being shy is not an option! And it’s Ray who steals the show with best lines – he actually berates Andy for not knowing who ‘Barbra’ is or how to tell the difference between a cast album and a soundtrack. Peter reveals, during the game, that he’s got a secret crush with one of the men, while Brian is sexy and he knows it, and is the first to strip off. It’s a party in this intimate theatre where the audience feels like they’re right in the middle.

‘Party’ is 100 minutes of very funny jokes, lively atmosphere, and laugh out loud comedy. It’s play which celebrates gay men who enjoy the company of other gay men, sexual attraction or not. And all the actors deserve praise, and courage, for baring it all – it’s exciting and done in good taste. This is one party you definitely don’t want to miss. Buy your tickets now as Above the Stag has just announced a three week extension to the show, which will now run until October 30th.

Off
30th Jun2016

Get ‘Em Off (Theatre)

by timbaros

91fcb92abe00587dbdff24216fe17eddThe Full Monty is now playing at Above the Stag Theatre in Vauxhall.

Well, it’s not exactly The Full Monty – it’s called ‘Get ‘Em Off!’ Set in the suburbian enclave of Croydon, ‘Get ‘Em Off’ takes place in the only gay bar around for miles – The Golden Canary – and it’s a dive. Run by proprietor/proprietress Quinny, a/k/a Baz (Dereck Walker), it’s a bar that needs some spicing up. So it’s his employee Mitch (Joe Goldie) who comes up with the idea of turning Monday night into a gay strip competition to bring in more customers. And so that’s what they do. And they encourage their customers to enter in the hopes of winning the cash prize. Milosh (Michael Nelson), from Kosovo, is one of the first ones to enter, he’s definitely not shy about showing his body. Then there’s Ricky (Ashley Daniels), who is a regular customer to the bar when his boring partner (David Michael Hands) is out of town on business and who actually forbids Ricky from going to the gay bar as he doesn’t think they should lead ’that kind of lifestyle.’ But there’s a spark between Milosh and Ricky that’s palpable.

Meanwhile back at the bar, Baz, all dolled up in sequins and a head wrap, hosts the competition. Mitch urges his all so sexy and very hot straight friend Luke (Tom Bowen) to enter, hey Luke’s wife is about to give birth to their first child so he says why not? And it’s poor Brian (Stuart Harris), Mitch’s school teacher, newly single after six years, trying to find his way back into the gay scene, and finds himself at The Golden Canary. With the strip competition such a success, Quinny decides to enter her men in a national strip competition. So ‘Get Em Off’ follows The Full Monty’s plot where the men practice and practice for the competition where we all know what’s going to happen.

‘Get Em Off’ should’ve been called ‘The Gay Full Monty.’ It’s a camp musical comedy with very funny lines but not very funny nor memorable songs (one is titled ‘Get Your Dick Out), and there’s a waxing scenes that’s a bit dreadful. The book, by Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper, gives Quinny some of the best lines in the show, though Milosh and Mitch have some as well. Walker steals the show even when his/her men get naked – he’s hilarious! Hands also deserves a mention as he plays various roles and is unrecognizable in each one of them. ‘Get Em Off’ is not the best show the Above the Stag has produced, but it’s perhaps perfect for the summer season when all gay boys want to do is see to watch light-hearted fare with cute guys and lots of nudity. This is the show for them.

To purchase tickets, please click:

Get ‘Em Off!

Off
08th Dec2015

Tinderella: Cinders Slips it In (Theatre)

by timbaros

CVNt_JqWEAI7IREAbove the Stag theatre has done it again and produced another hilarious panto in ‘Tinderella: Cinders Slips it In.’

The theatre has produced many a camp panto in years past. These include ‘Dick Whittington: Another Dick in City Hall’ in 2009, ‘Sleeping Beauty: One Little Prick’ in 2011, and last year’s ‘Treasure Island: The Curse of the Pearl Necklace.’ But with ‘Tinderella: Cinders Slips it In’ the Stag has outcamped, and outdone, all it’s previous pantos. It’s as camp as christmas and as gay as eggnog. And it’s hilarious.

The title says it all. The show is a take off on Cinderella, and in the Stag’s version Prince Charming is searching the kingdom for a man (and NOT a woman) who fits into the glass slipper, in the kingdom of Slutvia. And that man is Cinders. He cooks and cleans and does the chores for his wicked evil stepmother Countess Volga and her two vile daughters Nicole Ferrari and Maude Escort. But then one day, while on a gay app on his mobile phone, he meets Prince Charming, and it is love at first sight for both of them. But Cinders’ phone gets ruined (I won’t say how!), and he’s unable to contact, or be contacted by, the very handsome young Prince. But there is a Fairy Godmother, in the form of The Fairy, and she’s the one who, with the help of the adorable Buttons, makes sure that Cinders gets to the ball to be reunited with Prince Charming, though the Prince’s father, King Ludwig, has no clue that his son is jonesing for another man. It’s all a laugh a minute when the show takes us from the Countesses kitchen to the King’s office to a courgette that gets turned into, funny enough, a mode of transport to which Cinders to the palace! We also are treated to songs about balls, a clever slow-motion scene that involves the entire cast, and enough campiness and cute boys to make even Alan Carr blush. And to top it off, we are spoiled with Slutvia’s Eurovision song!

CVYOHJoWUAA-160

What can one say about a show that has ok acting, ok singing, and an ok script? Well – it’s brilliant! You’ll be laughing from the opening scenes which include a giant rat, to the audience participation bits (there are quite a few and boy are they clever!), up to the final heartwarming and groin inflaming scenes. It’s a show that’s over two hours but it flies by. And the cast are perfect, from Joseph Lycett-Barnes as Prince Charming to Lucas Meredith as Buttons and Grant Cartwright as Cinders – everyone does their part, and they all act very well with each other! From the writers and director of total sell-out hits ‘Get Aladdin,’ ‘Jack Off the Beanstalk,’ and ‘Treasure Island – The Curse of the Pearl Necklace’ (Martin Hooper and Jon Bradfield) and directed by Andrew Beckett, Above the Stag has put on another memorable show.

Tinderella: Cinders Slips it In is playing until January 16th. Most performances are sold out but there are a few tickets left on various dates. To book, please go here:

http://www.abovethestag.com/shows/

Off