BOTTOM Three stars

Summerhall 16.25

August 1st to 26th. (not 2, 13,20)

Willy Hudson here performs a show where he wins the audience over from the beginning as he comes in wearing extremely little and has an audience member help him cover his embarrassment. This character’s vulnerability and naïve optimism and search is a large part of his charm.

He sees himself as a Bottom but is very taken by the speed with which the question Top or Bottom comes up in online searches for gay partners. The subject of erectile dysfunction comes up early – the poor guy cannot get it up when he wants to, and then the stiffy will not stay.

We are told about the trials of online searches and of the problems that occur when he actually gets a Top into his flat. Imagine many of your problem moments in sexual encounters, and see them transformed into blush-inducing hilarity, and you have some idea of the essence of this show.

Beyonce helps the character along, though he does wonder what effect having his wall covered in images of her will have on his Tops. There is a good deal of music and dance, and some audience interaction, but sometimes the sequence seemed a bit random. Not to worry. This guy gets the audience fully on his side. We are in the palm of his hand and I am sure he could do anything – he could stand on his head and gargle, and the audience would still love him. This is one of the most engaging and sympathetic stage characters I have encountered in a long time.

Get along to see this guy and have a deeply enjoyable tea time experience.

Tony Challis