REVIEW: Hot Gay Time Machine @BOSCO Spiegeltent

May 5, 2018

Hot Gay Time Machine


May 4 at 7pm

ZAK Ghazi-Torbati and Toby Marlow are a superb reincarnation of that most perfect of British traditions, a very funny, perfectly honed, duet of white cis men who use their own experience and privilege to subvert and twist our ideas of outrage, insult and offense.

That makes them sound very dull, but from their perfectly manicured nails to eyebrows that slay these men who would be boys are polished to a lethal refulgent gleam, they are glittery Sith, jumping, leaping, swirling and twirling like effervescent gay Djinn.

Oh we never get to forget they are gay, as if we could – as from the very first moment of their meet and greet it’s pretty obviously that these lads ain’t no straight arrows, their utter exuberance is infectious and like syphilis it ripped through that packed heaving tent of Brighton queers last night leaving us all hot, sticky and mostly smiling.

Like butterflies they need to be pinned down and examined carefully but although they look harmless these fluttery nonsense’s are armed with honed, ruthless wit that’s mined from their own, presumably honest, experiences. It’s also been polished for a few years, been tossed into a crucible of timing and boiled down to it’s crystalline essence, a Swarovski peacock, but this one is smashed and the shards used to cut. Slicing away accumulated dust to reveal the glorious gayness underneath.

Relentless full octane camp blasted out with such appealing charm that it appears to be silly, daft party, party, party but then comes the interesting bit with these pair. For all their film flam disco Beyoncé worshiping jiggling their words are pretty seriously good. They toss the kind of lines out, left, right and centre that other comedians would build a whole routine around, and they’re sharp. Oh so sharp, rhymes to die for, wonderful constructions, lead in’s and pay offs, they’ve done their homework have Zak and Toby, and they’re smug with cleverness too, but kind, and that’s a treat. Imagine a happy Divine David, having a good day with a keyboard!

Digging deep into their own past and lives as developing gay men to give us insights into the common experiences of growing up gay, first tentative understanding, school, teenage angst, coming out, sex and friendships; Zak and Toby leave no turn unwhirled and expose us to our own prejudices, societal norms and the crushing all-pervasive heteronomy that surrounds our little glistering gay bubble.

Its’ sweet, disco, disco finger clicking gayboi, they then puncture that bubble and deconstruct gayness, male, white and class privilege, cis bias, internalised homophobia, misogyny, sexism and a whole host of other toxic products of our patriarchal world but without a single preaching moment. It’s a treat to see queer performers do such serious stuff with an effortless flick of the wrist, the fun is the point there, the whole point and nothing but the point, so don’t look at the point as that’s hard and hurtful and it’s jabbing away.

Zak and Toby buzz with the energetic frenzied whirl of life and as these boys bounce, interact, thrust and twirl their way though their songs and very daft dance routines, perfectly timed and choreographed like the rest of this act we’re left laughing, with a fair few new lines to appropriate.

Deep deep down these lads are very shallow but that’s the whole point of the rapture of this deep, so hold your breath, jump in fully clothed before they push you in, and trust this silly pair of clowns to get you safely to the other side of their turbulent, homophantastical lives and leave you gasping, breathless and beached but perhaps a better person.

They also made my boyfriend cry, which is more than I’ve ever done…

At Spiegel Tent


For more info or to book tickets see the fringe website here