Terry Gee’s musical play Blink of An Eye tells the story of Jake Faldon and how his move to London shapes him as a gay man, played with both vulnerability and also with an air of assertiveness by newcomer Steven Garrod. Having lost his mother as a child and being beaten by his abusive father Jake comes to London to begin his life anew. Even though his story is somewhat predictable and the structure of the play formulaic, the songs, especially Keeping Your Man, sung by a very talented Hannah Aldersley as Jasmine are bouncy enough to raise the interest. The dialogue between the songs is a bit cheesy, but this is immediately forgivable and comes across as honest and believable in scenes such as when Jake finds out that his first boyfriend was unfaithful. Gee explores with some dexterity the perimeters that can affect relationships and if paranoia creeps in what that can do. Miss Aldersley does have some cracking one liners, such as ‘The more you drink the bigger the smile” when she starts to be aware that Jake is getting involved with drugs, unsafe sex and the perils of using social media, as his connection with the fetish scene grows and he starts to block her out.
Brandon Gale as Spark brings a very sincere and at times comedic element to the musical as his fetish is to be a puppy dog with a passion for wearing one piece rubber suits enters into Jake’s world. Gee also weaves into the storyline the current debate about PrEP and its unavailability on the NHS. This provokes comment and rightly so. This play deals with the consequences of promiscuity, gullibility on the scene and the pressure to fit in. As the musical draws to a close it was fitting to see Jake’s need to redeem his own soul and his new found power to say ’no’ finishes the story in an upbeat way. Blink of an Eye is worth seeing as it explores issues that are relevant to our gay times and it is performed as an ensemble piece with a sense of great commitment by the players. Hugely enjoyable.