The structure of this play is as sharp and precise as the symbolic squares boxes that form part of a very stylish set, Do we or can we live our lives in boxes neatly arranging our emotions and daily routine to fit into the bigger scheme of things, I wonder with Holding the Man by Tommy Murphy this question is pondered on but circumstances can sometimes disrupt that intention. This is a beautiful play based on the memoir by Timothy Conigrave which tells the story of his love affair and at times turbulent relationship with his boyfriend John Caleo and the fact that they both become HIV and John eventually passes away from the Aids virus. Both Jamie Barnard who plays Timothy and Ben Boskovic who plays John are remarkable actors and between take this play to incredible heights. Passionate and total believable. They, along with a great ensemble cast notably Joshua Coley and Annabel Pemberton bring a strong sense of purpose and fluidity to the proceedings that makes for memorable theatre. The onstage chemistry between Barnard and Boskovic is riveting and via direct addresses to a very attentive audience by Barnard the play reaches its climax and the story of Timothy and John is concluded. This production of Holding the Man is superb, totally absorbing, energetic, true & honest story telling at times very funny and hilarious. Take a hanky but this will be to wipe away tears of joy and contentment . This is a must see and once again Above the Stag have a tremendous and gorgeous hit on their hands. Praise for a story exquisitely told and a stunning interpretation of very moving memoir.
5 stars , runs to the 21st October, Above the Stag Theatre, 17 Miles Street , Vauxhall. SW8 abovethestag.com
Photo credit: PBGstudios