sat 13/04/2024

Canary, Hampstead Theatre | reviews, news & interviews

Canary, Hampstead Theatre

Canary, Hampstead Theatre

Gay epic that spans three eras offers an evening of laughter and sorrow

The cast of 'Canary': Harvey creates a kaleidoscope of history by filling the air with a mix of funny one-liners and wry observationHelen Warner
One of the least lamented (by me at least) genres that has fallen foul of social changes in the past two decades is the 1980s gay drama. You know the kind of thing: right-on coming-out speeches, painful but ridiculous instances of homophobia, and the compulsory dying-of-AIDS scene. The irony is that Jonathan Harvey, whose 1993 classic Beautiful Thing did so much to pull the gay play out of its ghetto, has now returned to this 1980s genre. His latest play, which opened last night and marks his long-overdue return to the stage, revisits gay culture between the 1960s and today. Okay, it’s retro, but is it worth seeing?
One of the least lamented (by me at least) genres that has fallen foul of social changes in the past two decades is the 1980s gay drama. You know the kind of thing: right-on coming-out speeches, painful but ridiculous instances of homophobia, and the compulsory dying-of-AIDS scene. The irony is that Jonathan Harvey, whose 1993 classic Beautiful Thing did so much to pull the gay play out of its ghetto, has now returned to this 1980s genre. His latest play, which opened last night and marks his long-overdue return to the stage, revisits gay culture between the 1960s and today. Okay, it’s retro, but is it worth seeing?

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