Beirut is an American play written by Alan Bowne in the 1980s at the height of the AIDS crisis.
Torch (Robert Rees) has been quarantined in a dark room in an area of New York named “Beirut” after testing positive for a nameless disease.
When his girlfriend, Blue (Louisa Connoly-Burnham) makes a journey to be with him, Torch’s resistance will be tested.
It is a moment of revivals for theatres. And if for some of them the resuscitation is worth it, this is not the case of Beirut, which feels quite dated.
Torch and Blue, who act semi-naked/ naked for the whole play, are young and handsome. Blue’s demand for sex is physiological, but Torch pulls her away because he does not want to infect her. It is a game of power, an examination of their relationship: the strongest will win.
Torch and Blue are not likeable and therefore it is difficult to empathize with them. The dialogues are just around sex and infection: Blue is trying everything she can to have sex, Torch tries to be rational, explaining to her that he does not want to live, knowing he gave a lethal disease to a person he loves. The background of the characters and of the situation is absent and the repetitiveness of the conversation makes the piece monotonous and colourless.
The good news is that it lasts only 60 minutes!
Beirut is at The Park Theatre until 7th July 2018.