P/review: Brian’s view from the sofa

Brian Butler March 26, 2020

Hello again sofa-dwellers! Welcome to my second edition.

Thanks for the feedback from readers as far apart as Hove, London, Chicago, Valencia and Hamburg . Keep reading and spreading the word to your LGBTQ+ communities.

In this edition I take the view from my sofa of a new gay love story with a twist РEnd of the Century; a wonderfully uplifting documentary by trans film director Jason Barker , a look back at a fabulous one-person cabaret in Brighton’s Bedford Tavern at the very moment lockdown was announced and forward to isolation cabaret by La Voix, a world premiere by the amazing Balletboyz and another cabaret from London’s award-winning venue the Phoenix Arts Club .

Lucio Castro’s debut film End Of The Century is a lyrical, slow-moving, beautifully photographed love story that is not at all what it seems. Defying the rules of time, it brings together Ocho (Juan Barberini) a lonely Argentinian poet on a vacation in Barcelona with Javi (Ramon Pujol) a children’s TV director.

From tentative sidelong glances and accidental meetings, their relationship becomes sexually frenetic but is suddenly over as soon as it began. Well not quite. Without spoiling all the film’s clever ins and outs, we meet the couple twice more at different periods over 20 years and apparently in different situations without total recall of what might or might not have happened before or what is to come.

If that sounds complex it is; and while I watched I quizzed in my head what exactly was truth, what was reality and what was the present moment. For all that these are wonderfully truthful and honest performances and the 3rd star is Barcelona’s cityscape.

The film is available on demand and through other channels from Peccadillo Pictures.

The very moment Boris Johnson was ordering us to lock the doors, if not  turn off the lights, drag artiste Kara Van Park was giving a barnstorming show in isolation at the deserted Bedford Tavern. It streamed on Facebook and is still there on Kara’s page. Show tunes, ballads, glittery gown Рit was just what you’d expect of a consummate performer. Let’s hope the technology will allow her to bring us an encore somehow.


Looking forward there are 2 shows for your delight this weekend. International entertainer La Voix, recently at the Theatre Royal, Brighton, brings us the 2nd of her isolation cabarets Рsee her Facebook page for how to join. It costs £10.


And in London the famous Phoenix Arts Club will have a live show on line from a secret apartment in lockdown . Check their Facebook page for details- it’s free but they ask you to consider tipping the artists. Last week their show had 50,000 visitors !

A Deal With the Universe, made  by Delaval  Films , tells the story of a very different kind of pregnancy, via personal  archives and home video diaries, it follows Jason’s incredible transgender story of how he came to give birth, charting over 15 years of his and his partner’s life. I found its treatment of gender identity and new parenthood amazingly moving and loving.

A great watch.

Finally , this Friday, 27 March, Sadlers Wells will digitally stream Balletboyz new show Deluxe which was due to open this weekend. It will be online for 7 days Рthe first of the dance theatre’s weekly series Sadlers Wells Facebook Premieres.

Next time favourite songs to sing from your balcony.

Happy watching! Stay safe.