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FRINGE REVIEW: Acting Out’s ‘Best Served Cold’

Brian Butler May 28, 2022

Sean Denyer has created a dark gay revenge comedy with more layers than a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee trifle.

To say there’s more than one revenge plot in Dublin-based Acting Out’s latest play, Best Served Cold, would be a wild understatement. The plot line involves two gay men and a semi-straight one, and twists and turns like an Alpine ski slope. And just when you think you know who’s the good guy and who isn’t, it twists again.

Sean’s story involves Colm (Steve Kenneally), a straight-ish man and Eoin (Ger O’Dea), an out-and-out gay who has a one-night stand with Colm – who instantly regrets his actions. Soon after Eoin goes on holiday with Colm’s ex-girlfriend. An act of revenge? Well, maybe.

Best Served Cold

A chance meeting between Colm and outrageous Queen of the Dublin queer scene, Simon (Austin Cullen), leads to a complex plan for Colm to take revenge on Eoin. I won’t go into all the details that unfold so I don’t spoil the fun you’re bound to get from this play, but suffice to say that it’s an enjoyable, bitter, bitchy kind of story.

There are lots of subsidiary issues in this tightly-packed 70 minutes, where the actors are just feet away from the audience – you feel like you’re in the bar with them, at times. Denyer looks at sexting, lying about sexuality, homophobia and violence.

The resolution of the evening is shocking and for me unforeseen. All three actors inhabit their characters with honesty and real emotion – though Simon veers into caricature at some points.

It’s a new play and I suspect the team will look agin at developing it further. But it’s a great night as it is.

The play was at the Round Georges, Kemptown, as part of Brighton Fringe. It plays until Sunday, May 29. Tickets HERE. You can follow the company HERE

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