Dumbledore Is So Gay at The Pleasance Theatre: Press night review by Stephen Vowles  

With all three actors reprising their roles –  Alex Britt as Jack, Max Perry playing Ollie and Martin and Charlotte Dowding taking on three roles as  Gemma, Sally and Madame Dubois – you can easily see why this was such a smash a hit at the Vault Festival.  

These three actors have this down pat and with a full stage at their disposal, with exuberant body gestures almost bordering on slapstick, especially when they use their bodies to simulate going back in time, made for an enthusiastic and exhilarating theatrical experience. 

This is a story about self love and friendship, coming of age and coming out, told in a refreshing way. Written by Robert Holtom and directed by Tom Wright, all aspects of being gay are covered in this piece.

The character interaction is just brilliant and where the subject of gay stereotypes is touched upon this is done in an informed way, for example  when Jack makes a direct address to the audience. Holtom has a wonderful command of language as he describes the need for allegiance to your friends through all the ups and downs of life. This is handled superbly such as with Jack who knows that he is gay and he wants to make sure the people around him, including his parents, can cope and that so will his friends too. 

There are issues of dealing with grief, denial and acceptance, bullying from name-calling and Holtom even suggests that true monogamy does not exist in the gay world. There are some great running gags around nationality, and living your life addicted to soap operas.

These three young actors have made a pledge to entertain and this they do. I throughly enjoyed the show and I must confess I’m not a fan of Harry Potter, however Dumbledore Is So Gay has put a new spin on it and perhaps when the winter nights finally draw in, I will see what all the fuss was about. With regards to this play, a fuss should be made. Excellent storytelling to rival even what JK comes up with. 

Modern and contemporary theatre – well staged, acted flawlessly and sparking with very funny humour.

Photos by Alex Brenner.


Dumbledore Is So Gay runs to Sunday 26th September at The Pleasance Theatre, Carpenter Mews, North Road, London N7 9E. Box office: 020 7609 1800 

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