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Good things really do come in small packages. In the intimate setting of their relatively new theatre space, the Above The Stag theatre company presents its latest production, Gay Naked Play.

Going by the title alone you’d think it would shift tickets faster than copies of the Daily Mail at a rain-soaked UKIP conference.

Written by David Bell, The Gay Naked Play initially premiered off-Broadway and has had sold out runs across America before hitting our shores. A straightforward plot follows two very different theatrical worlds: the commercially failing Integrity Players, with their deep and meaningful classic plays, who have to compromise their artistic integrity and merge with New York’s most successful gay theatre troupe, who fashion themselves on a kitsch ‘sex sells’ style of performance.

Along with the delicious yet intensely stroppy porn star Kit Swagger, who dreams of breaking into the mainstream, the unusual ensemble get to work on their new show: a homoerotic version of Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ.

The casting is faultless. Camp Eddie Russini (Chris Woodley) is queen bee, giving Will and Grace’s Jack McFarland a run for his money – superb. Mrs. Anderson (Ellen Verenieks) as the controlling mother and scheming 80’s soap opera-like bitch presents her character exquisitely with so much presence throughout.

As for Kit Swagger (Matthew Ferdenzi), well, where do you start? His initial appearance will leave you gasping. He oozes sex. Pass me my hand fan… And, thankfully, he’s not just a strutting pretty boy, he adapts so well throughout, especially so in his semi-serious monologue, which is one of the highlights of the show. The biggest moment, however, is the finale. I shan’t spoil the surprise, though.

The whole cast excels in this slick uplifting show, which is peppered with witty dialogue and seamless scene changes. I would implore anyone who is feeling the January blues (or not) to get down to Vauxhall and embrace nakedness. This show is the perfect tonic.

‘GAY NAKE PLAY’ by David Bell
• Above the Stage Theatre, Arch 17, Miles Street, Vauxhall, SW8 1RZ
• www.abovethestag.com

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