Review By Matthew Hocter
Walking into this show I was, to be honest, incredibly sceptical. Not because this was actor/creator Thomas Kostakis’s first foray into this field, but because so many stories of the LGBT community are not told by us and end up being diluted for the audience(s) they so desperately seek validation from. This is different. Kostakis is one of “us” and speaks unashamedly about the things that so many of “us” don’t talk about for a myriad of reasons; shame, fear and loss of love are but a few.
The first part of the play was set in a game show type setting with Kostakis as the unlucky in love contestant in search of Mr. Right. Weaving in and out of sexual innuendos and an array of male suitors, all of whom were played by Daniel Pitt, Kostakis had no fear playing to the audience and showcasing a vulnerability that could almost come across as self depreciating at times. Pitt played into Kostakis’s uncertainty as he navigated the gay dating scene, playing four main characters, but a whopping 28 characters overall.
It was the second part of the play that really changed the narrative of this play. The camp over exaggeration at the beginning was fun and lighthearted, but at the core of this was a serious issue and one that affects not just gay men, but men at large; pelvic floor dysfunction. Couple this with a yearning for a long term partner, something that can seem so unfathomable when entering the gay community for the first time, and for any gay man that has passed through any of these situations, it is a story that so many of us have sadly been apart of.
What makes this play even more heartfelt is that it is based on Kostakis’s own real life events. Navigating a community that can at times be harsh and unforgiving and for no reason other than that of survival, it is enviable that questions of belonging and what you will do to be accepted are at the forefront of your existence. Kostakis not only covers these topics, he questions them as he has lived them. The last 30 minutes of the play were its most powerful moments. Grappling with internalised homophobia, consent and that feeling of not being good enough - in any capacity, were all things that so many of us have asked ourselves, but never had the ability to say out loud. Kostakis did.
Theatre is something that has been severely lacking from the collective conscious for what seems like an eternity. The ability to walk into a room and sit in front of people acting out stories, true or fictional, in the most intimate of settings is not only vulnerability at its rawest, but pure artistry in the most primary of forms when done right. Whilst “doing it right” is entirely subjective, Kostakis did this right and then some.
It’s hard to believe that this was Kostakis first foray into Theatre, something that I truly hope he dives into much, much more.