FESTIVAL REVIEW: All I See Is You, Players Theatre, Trinity College
It is a darker time. 1967. Britain is struggling with the issue of decriminalizing homosexuality but is dragging its feet.
In the meantime, police harassment and gay cures thrive. The law is brutal, the Courts are brutal, the workplace and families follow suit. In all of this oppression we meet Bobby who works in Woolworths (Ciaran Griffiths) and Ralph (Christian Edwards) a student teacher. Kathrine Smith’s beautiful text recreates the oppression, fear, bigotry and love of a tortured minority in a changing Britain. In EM Forster fashion Smith’s story reaches across the class divide. Ben Occhipinti’s and Mark Powell’s flowing direction builds tension, releases emotion and relives the 1960s fear that the text and glorious soundtrack convey. Our well dressed actors are a duet. Their contrast and commonality shine in two powerfully restrained, excellent, moving performances. “All I See Is You” brought back memories to some and educated others that the greatest grip oppression has on you is when it convinces you to embrace it. Love struck Bobby doesn’t accept the constructed shame and reticent Ralph’s life changes forever. With an unspoken underscore of a time that destroyed many Alan Turing’s of this world, “All I See Is You” is an emotive and powerful reminder of the shoulders we all stand on today. Beautiful theatre.
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