Summer in London at the Theatre Royal Stratford: First Night review by Stephen Vowles

Rikki Beadle-Blair’s play is visually stunning and with a huge summer full moon dominating the set – which also acts as a fantastic projection screen – we are taken on a journey that features two stories. Firstly the story of Mosey, Hamza, Jack and Ryoko, four inseparable friends who are ‘family’,  joined at the hip, and are homeless. Then Summer enters their lives, played with a charm and confidence by Victoria Gigante, and as the summer season plays out the effect she has on the four tests the very limits of their respective friendships. Story two is that of Joan who meets Justine and a love affair blossoms shaping their lives. Joan played by a sensational Mzz Kimberley is the complete deal, bringing a glitz and glamour to the role that is stunning and very sexy. Partnered by Emma Franklin as Justine, the scenes between them are both funny and electric, radiating a heat that was perfect for the intensity of the hot summer days and nights. Both are exquisite actresses.

Beadle-Blair who also directs infuses a pumping and pulsating soundtrack into the mix which has the effect that the all trans cast exude an energy that is full of mood and soul. This play also clearly demonstrates what an emotional rollercoaster having a relationship can be dealing with issues of self worth and commitment. A play by Mr Beadle-Blair would not be one of his plays if it did not also involve a comment on the problems facing young people today. This is welcomed and as the two stories blend to a memorable conclusion we are reminded that regardless of sexuality society should not apply labels to people. Captivating theatre performed by a fantastic and very talented cast where their natural exuberance is clearly on show.


Summer in London runs to the 29th July at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Box office 020 8534 0310.


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