One of the things that I really like about the productions at the King’s Head Theatre are the realistic subjects that are tackled, taking issues and situations (most recently issues within the LBGTQ community) that could be happening right now anywhere, in any place. The latest production, 5 Guys Chillin’, starts off mid-party, making you feel like you’re walking into this chilled scene, and continues until the last audience member has left.
The play is a blatant, precise exposition of the gay chill-out scene, and so works in extremes that both help and hinder the production. What’s worse is that due to its verbatim styling these are things, including some very specific fetishes, that people have actually experienced.
Strong themes of identity, sexual exploration, glamourizing drug use, personal preference and HIV are all explored. Within this, there are some really intense, raw moments that are quite beautiful but they’re brushed over all too quickly. Moments of humour are peppered throughout, with some great comedic recollections toward the end, but it’s a little to late to completely lift the production.
This is very much a subjective play that everyone will take something different from; I could see issues and emotions in all the different characters that I could relate to in some way or form, but it didn’t have the same impact that other plays with similar subject matter have had.
5 Guys Chillin‘ is on at The Kings Head Theatre until October 21.