An ensemble of contemporary queer characters, and the lives and loves of a Mexican boy – here’s the first of this week’s International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival reviews!
Joto! Confessions of a Mexican Outcast ****
There’s something incredibly courageous and generous about someone laying their life bare for an audience, and Carlos Manuel is utterly charming in this autobiographical one-man show,
We join Carlos as he journals his way through the discovery and acceptance of his sexuality. It’s a very personal story and therefore, entirely universal. An Irish audience will easily relate to the many similarities of the strict Catholic upbringing this Mexican man experienced, with their own. We are all too familiar with nuns in dark habits.
It is with great humour that he reveals some of his earliest attractions for men (in loincloths), but Carlos shares much more with us, from the nastiness of being bullied, to the intimacy of his first sexual experiences, and all set to a fabulous soundtrack of Mexican and International gay anthems. It is a well-written piece with plenty of rise and fall, which culminates in the sad revelation that his husband is in danger of being cast out of the US.
Trump’s America has us all anxiously watching for what’s going to happen next for the likes of Carlos and his husband, so there will be more to this tale, but hopefully it will be a well-deserved happy ending. Recommended.
‘Joto! Confessions of a Mexican Outcast’ continues at the Outhouse Theatre until May 13 at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday at 4pm, tickets here.
Em-Lou Productions and Director Peter Darnley are back at this year’s festival after last years hit, 5-Guys Chillin. Queers is a portmanteau piece, weaving several tales of contemporary queer lives together, covering most bases as it does so. This inevitably means that some of the stories appeal more than others, and in this case, it acts as both a strength and a weakness.
On one hand the performance fairly zips by, but at the same time some of the stories – for instance the sad tale of the murder of a trans women – are not given the time and depth enough to develop. Though, in that particular case, the delicate and defiant performance by Stanton Plummer-Cambridge, showed that it has enormous potential for expansion.
More successful, perhaps because it came across as more of a sketch, and thus suited the structure of the piece, was Richard Watkins’ very funny take on a drag queen’s reluctant return home. It again provided us with a character I wanted to see more of.
This is an enjoyable evening performed by a talented ensemble, and Patrick Cash is clearly a writer of talent. I’d really like to see what he could do with taking just one of these characters though, and giving us their whole story rather than just a glimpse.
Queers continues at the Players Theatre continues until May 13th at (pm with a matinee on Saturday at 4pm, tickets here.
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