What is so immediately enjoyable about Martin Blackburn’s play Last One Here is if he has drawn on personal experiences to construct this wonderful two hander then he has created one of the best and most sincere plays I’ve seen in ages.
The interplay between Jamie, played by Mark Ranch, and Aaron, played by Edward Tidy, has a fluidity to it that is so smooth, and director Georgia Leanne Harris gets from these two very accomplished actors moving and at times very funny performances.
The use of dual story telling and overlapping dialogue really gets the message of the play across. Aaron was supposed to have met Barnaby in a bar, but he does not and meets Jamie instead. The initial attraction is they are opposites, fancy each other like crazy and within weeks they set up home and Jamie discovers Aaron’s love for cuddly toys and Celine Dion. The play beautifully examines the pitfalls of being in a relationship, the recriminations and conditions we consciously and subconsciously impose on each other. Jamie reveals that he has HIV and via very clever dialogue educates Aaron as to the facts that his status is under control and that their lives can still be complete. Halfway in, Blackburn ramps up the comedy element of the play, which reinforces the question ‘Are we in control of our own destinies?’ I thoroughly enjoyed this as a modern look at contemporary gay living, warts and all, totally fabulous. Recommended.