The Chemsex Monologues at The Kings Head Theatre: Review by Stephen Vowles

The Chemsex Monologues, The Kings Head Theatre, runs until 9 April

Following on from the recent production of The HIV Monologues, I was very keen to find out if writer Patrick Cash had maintained the style and standard with this play, and the answer a resounding yes!

This is a more hard-hitting play and the description of sexual acts more graphic, but this fits in with the tone of the piece; it does not feel out of place.

As with the previous play, three of the cast are the same actors and it is important to state that Kane Surry, Denholm Spurr and Charly Flyte’s respective grasp of Cash’s script, and the rhythm of the delivery shows a wonderful instinctive allegiance to
the material. Of the four monologues, it is Mr Spurr’s that shines. His ability to convey emotion, which at times is incredibly deep, makes for avid watching. Cash has brought to our attention the pitfalls, consequences and health risks attached to sexual promiscuity and the inevitable repercussions, and as was the case with The HIV Monologues he links the stories to a greater effect with chemsex.

A special mention also has to go to Matthew Hodson, who plays health worker Daniel. The comedy element he brings to the play is superb and with it also comes an education – informative, but not preachy.

This is a well constructed and well written play that achieves what it sets out to do, that is touch a nerve, and I sincerely hope that if Patrick Cash tackles another theme relevant to gay society he offers the same treatment.

He has hit on a formulae that is both poignant and provocative and makes for very entertaining theatre.

The Chemsex Monologues runs until 9 April at the King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 1QN

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