The producers at Above The Stag recognise talent when they see it and with Now & Then, the latest opus from the excellent writer Ronnie Larsen and music and lyrics by Dennis Manning, this cowboy, country & western inspired gay love story is beautifully staged in the venue’s main room.
The play tells the story of Daniel and Greg over four decades and is superbly cast with six actors sharing the roles of two men over different time periods. With Dylan Wynford and Freddie Woodyatt playing them young and discovering their sexuality, then Taylor Rettke and Rhys Taylor playing them in their 30s dealing with the trials and tribulations of life and finally Richard Costello and Leo Andrew playing them older and wiser.
The music in the play is stunning; acting as one of the best extensions to the spoken dialogue I’ve heard in ages. There is an infectious beat to it and where the same song is repeated during various poignant and extremely touching parts of the story, the emotional response from the audience was gorgeous. The use of a consistent melody added such a warmth and sincerity to the whole piece.
The overlapping of the storylines is told via these actors with exceptional skill and attention to the timing is very well executed – and it is to director Harry Blumenau’s credit that this is achieved. This is a remarkable piece of hand clapping, toe tapping, boot scooping theatre and gets a mighty ‘Yeehaw! Howdy Partner!’ from me. Utterly fabulous and throughly enjoyable and highly recommended.
Photos by PBG Studios