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14
Oct

Next Fall: Love Me More Than Him

next fall
Housed at the Little theatre space in London’s Southwark Playhouse until the 25th October is a dark comedy about love and religion.

Fresh from the hands of Broadway superstar producers, Elton John and David Furnish, is American drama, Next Fall, the story of couple fighting to reconcile their opposing views of religion as gay men.

The semi-autobiographical show from Geoffrey Nauffts plays out in reverse chronological order, with the life of doe-eyed, southern Christian, Luke, hanging in the balance while his nearest and dearest fret in a hospital waiting room. His neurotic, long-term partner is on standby, unable to visit by his boyfriend's deathbed thanks to the ignorance of Luke's parents to his existence - a situation all too common in the lives of many LGBT couples.

Flashbacks to arguments and encounters throughout the previous five years reveal the basis of that ignorance stems from Luke’s strongly ingrained religious beliefs, while boyfriend Adam struggles to understand how his boyfriend can be both so extremely gay and so extremely Christian. While the storyline itself isn’t groundbreaking, it’s handled with compassion and humour with some stand out performances from the cast of six.

Charlie Condou plays protagonist, Adam, an atheist who appears to be in a perpetual mid-life crisis. Condou keeps his performance believably passionate throughout, which only serves to add to the visible chemistry with adorable boyfriend Luke, played by Martin Delaney.

Nancy Crane plays Arlene, Luke’s estranged, pill-popping, free spirit of a mom – a role in which she really shines despite sharing the stage with the formidably loud Mitchell Mullen, who delivers a fantastic performance as bible bashing, red-necked Butch: Luke’s intimidating but endearing father.

Completing the line-up are Sirine Saba as Adam's BFF and former employer, Holly, a character full of charming quirkiness, and closeted gay Christian friend, Brandon, played by Ben Cura.

Refreshingly, there were a few older, straight couples in the audience who were overheard to be thoroughly complimenting the actors and director – a small act that speaks volumes in the progression of diversity. Overall, a fantastic cast delivering the perfect balance of dark comedy and touching emotion, which more than compensates for any missing links in the plot (perhaps misplaced in transference from a country more fractured by its love of God than the UK). It’s not hard to see why the Broadway production received a Tony Award nomination in 2010. Don’t miss this moving and poignant play.                                                                      

Next Fall runs at London’s Southwark Playhouse until October 25th

Click here to book tickets.

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