PREVIEW: Morning Glory @Legends

Brian Butler August 20, 2019

David is 50-something and at ease with his gay self.

THAT is until he joins his friends to celebrate the 60th birthday of one of them in a drinking and dancing night at Clapham’s famous Two Brewers pub.

Fresh from his morning-after shower he talks directly to us and recounts the unfolding story of the night before.

What Andrew Kay has written, and Jason Sutton performs, is a brief tale of humour, joyful humanity, with a sense of history and equality.

It’s not a story on a Shakespearean scale, but rather a beautifully crafted chamber piece, which on its only Brighton outing, fitted snugly in the downstairs club/bar at Legends.

The story is a very typical and topical one – a group of twinks poke fun at the older bunch of men and David eventually takes control and confronts them. What follows is a poignant and emotional analysis of how today’s LGBT+ population owe a huge debt of gratitude to David’s generation, who suffered hatred, violence and the death sentence of HIV/Aids.

Allan Cardew’s direction is light and insightful and such is the power of Jason’s performance, that the actor has us in the palm of his hand throughout – making us laugh and leading us towards tears and his own redemption.

Andrew has given Jason some cracking lines and David is a very shrewd observer of the gay scene, reserving some of his sharpest comments for the twinks – or “muscle Marys and fit fairies” as he denotes them.

But Jason doesn’t make David smug or nasty. Looking in the mirror he comments “average looks never fade.”

He tells the youngsters “when I was your age I wasn’t going to the gym; I was going to funerals.”

The play is never heavy-handed and in its final moments there is a joyful happy ending in more ways than one.

Andrew is busy writing a companion piece for a younger actor and it deserves an outing alongside Morning Glory, a 5-star miniature drama of the highest quality.

Review by Brian Butler