King’s Head Theatre
13th March to 6th April 2019
“Sex is easy. Intimacy is hard. The award-winning producers of 5 Guys Chillin’ and The Chemsex Monologues present the world premiere of Undetectable, a tender, funny and uplifting love story for the post-chemsex generation. Hunky dream boy Lex and bright spark Bradley are falling for each other. Big time. After three months, Lex has decided that tonight’s the night… but Bradley’s not so sure he wants to go all the way. With wisdom, wit and honesty, Tom Wright’s bold new play explores the delicate emotions, moral dilemmas and personal demons we all take to bed with us.”
Review by Mark Banfield, 4 Stars
The award-winning producers of 5 Guys Chillin’ and The Chemsex Monologues present the world premiere of Undetectable, a tender, funny and uplifting love story for the post-chemsex generation. Tom Wright’s new one-act play which is receiving its world premiere at the King’s Head Theatre.
As far as gay relationships go, Bradley (Lewis Brown) and Lex (Freddie Hogan) are very unusual. Despite dating for three months, this twenty-something couple have not actually slept together yet.
With wisdom, wit and honesty Wright explores explores the intricate emotions, moral dilemmas and personal demons we all take to bed with us.
For a play that is only about seventy minutes long, Undetectable really packs a punch. Playwright Tom Wright has created two really interesting characters and given them both really powerful, life-changing backstories that completely explain the men they are today and touches upon issues around PrEP, slut shamming, relationship negotiation, intimacy , chem-sex, sexual tropes , internalised homophobia and the impact they have upon us in the vulnerabilities we display.
The language, whilst accurate is somehow rather undeveloped and therefore at points seems clunky and awkward leading to our questioning the integrity of the characters. Luckily Lewis Brown and Freddie Hogan take the characters of Bradley and Lex respectively and give flesh to them – and dropping into a superficial gay mode for a moment, the flesh is well worth seeing.
Director Rikki Beadle-Blair sets the action around a raised bed with a hanging light – that seems to have a mind of its own – making that the focus of the stage. The boys jump in and out of the bed, circle it and use it for storage, so that the bed, rather like their decision to sleep together or not, dominates the space and their lives at this point.
(Conflict of Interest Declaration: the owner of this website was the lighting designer for Undetectable.
Mark Banfield is an independent freelance theatre Reviewer)
(Photo Credit: Nick Rutter)
Bradley: Lewis Brown
Lex: Freddie Hogan
Written by Tom Wright
Directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair
Design by Rikki Beadle-Blair
Lighting Design by Richard Lambert
Assistant Director Alex Hick
Tickets available from the King’s Head Theatre website