Tell Me Straight ★★★★ King's Head Theatre | August 17 - 21, 2021


Paul Bradshaw's Tell Me Straight charms us by recounting the travails of a charismatic gay guy who seeks out straight and 'bi-curious' young men. We meet several of them as they criss-cross his life. A joke is made of the fact that they all look virtually identical – this is no surprise as they are all played by the same actor. Bradshaw has a rare talent for writing relaxed and frequently witty dialogue. Imogen Hudson-Clayton's direction keeps things moving and provides some very funny business, particularly during an encounter in a cinema. The visual production is minimal in the extreme but that allows us to concentrate on the two actors and the occasional voice-over interjections from Stephanie Levi-John. Bradshaw performs his own work faultlessly, getting the maximum laughs out of his plight whilst retaining our sympathy for his somewhat hedonistic lifestyle. His timing is immaculate and he doesn't flinch from self-deprecation. Playing all the men in his life, George Greenland is tremendous. It is scarcely credible that this is his professional debut. He conjures up half a dozen quite distinct characters with just a change of voice, gait and shirt with the innate and illusive gift of timing. He is most definitely a talent to watch for in the future. Maybe we don't learn quite enough about why Bradshaw's character apparently finds relationships difficult, but that certainly doesn't stop us from enjoying this highly entertaining play. We're definitely looking forward to more stylish writing from Paul Bradshaw.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.

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