Dumbledore Is SO Gay
Dumbledore Is SO Gay
at Southwark Playhouse, London
“A great show - fun but slightly frivolous”
Fancy seeing a show that’s gloriously uplifting and very funny? You couldn’t go far wrong than this one: Dumbledore Is SO Gay - do have fun stressing the ‘so’ - which is a look into the world of Jack. He’s a fan of Harry Potter, suffering teenage angst and, on top of it all, coming to terms with the fact that he’s gay. Could things be any more frustrating?
The play is short, just over an hour long. There’s a stunning cast of three actors playing all the parts and, for Rowling fans, there are plenty of references to the books and films (albeit with a couple of spoilers, just in case you haven’t read/seen them all…).
Alex Britt plays Jack, full of energy, sincerity and joy. He is joined by Martin Sarreal and Charlotte Dowding in this madcap scenario. All three have a blast in their parts, fizzing the story along at a blistering pace. Look out for Charlotte’s swimming - hilarious upstaging, but worth it! It can’t be a coincidence that there are two men and one woman on stage here as the main protagonists - just like at Hogwarts!
Directed by Tom Wright, simplicity is the key here - letting Robert Holtom’s script and the performers do the rest. I specifically enjoyed the subtle soundtrack music by Peter Wilson.
In style and vigour, the production puts me in mind of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. But here, the two shows differ. Curious Incident is a full-length theatrical event and makes Dumbledore feel a little on the small side, a play that rushes to get everywhere and touch all the bases as fast as it can when, perhaps, it should slow down and take its time. The emotional scenes hit just as hard as the comic, but could the levels of Jack’s self-identity and his relationships with family and friends be explored more in depth? It is performed in the ‘first-person’, mainly as reportage and commentary - whereas some longer, deeper scenes would not go amiss.
Dumbledore Is SO Gay is a great show - fun but slightly frivolous. I think it should take itself a little more seriously. I want to know more about Jack and his world; so, although I had a good time, I do feel short-changed. This production was performed in 2020 at VAULT Festival and at The Pleasance Theatre the following year - it is obviously growing in confidence and power. It is going to keep evolving. Hopefully, I’ll be able to see a full-length exploration of Jacks’ amazing story - in the West End and on tour very, very soon…
Photography David Jenson
Producer Hannah Elsy Productions
Production Mgmt Harry Fernley-Brown for New Wolf Productions
Director Tom Wright
Movement Director Rachael Nanyonjo
Set and Costume Natalie Johnson
Running Time 75 minutes (no interval)
Dates until Saturday 23rd September 2023
Monday to Saturday at 8pm
Tuesday & Saturday Matinees at 3.30pm
Venue Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD
or Telephone - 020 7407 0234
Age Guidance 14+
Content Warning Homophobia, strong language, sexual references and themes of racism,
suicide, and sexual assault.