It is hard to review a show that has taken you on a rollercoaster of emotions. When all the different aspects of a production come together so seamlessly like they do in "My Son's A Queer, But What Can You Do?", written and performed by Rob Madge, it is hard to pick things apart and comment on them.
Everything about this show just works. From the joyful music of Pippa Clearly beautifully orchestrated by Simon Nathan, the sound design of Tingying Dong, to the incredible costumes of Ryan Dawson Laight, the atmospheric lighting of Jay Morjaria, the hilarious and moving video and projection work of George Reeve, the energetic direction of Luke Sheppard and of course (I wonder if they'll ever forgive me for leaving the Absolute Best for last) the huge talent and heart of Rob Madge in telling their extraordinary story.
A story as simple as it is revolutionary. "My Son's a Queer, But What Can You Do?" takes us on a journey through Rob's childhood, when they would put on Disney and musical theatre shows in their living room with the help of a sadly untrained but very enthusiastic stage manager (their dad) and the assistance of mum, grandma and other supportive members of the family.
The show explores the wonders and challenges of Rob growing up as a queer child in a world that too often fears and fights what it's not (yet) able to understand, but also beautifully celebrates the power of love and unconditional acceptance that we all wish we could receive first from our families and then society at large. Rob's writing is able to hint at the most difficult aspects of growing up queer while at the same time showing us the joy and immense beauty of it. It is a family tribute, a celebration of love, even an urgent political statement at times, like when Rob tells the story of a young trans boy and his mother being ostracised by school friends and parents as a consequence of simply being open about the process.
I was moved and felt so lucky to be able to witness this story being told on a West End stage in London surrounded by an audience sharing in the same sense of joy, in the knowledge that what should be the norm, love and acceptance, too often still isn't in a lot of families and many parts of the world. But this is why this show feels like a gift. A gift that will reach, heal, inspire and celebrate so many of us out there.
Rob’s performance is captivating, filled with energy, humour, brilliant acting and singing throughout. It’s a real pleasure to fall under their perfect theatrical spell (Ursula or Maleficent are mere amateurs in comparison!)
‘There’s joy to be had if you choose to look’ Rob sings in one of their songs. I strongly encourage you to choose to look inside the Garrick Theatre, you have until the 6th of November.
You can get tickets from £15 here and get up to 8% off with our exclusive discount code LTR8
Review: Andrea Golinucci Photo: Mark Senior