Review: MARMITE ****



Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre Venue 76

August 1st to 26th No breaks, 15.30

**** Four stars

Eddie (Jonas Moore) is meeting a gay date in, of all places, a Wetherspoons in Bristol. Such a romantic location. The date is not inspiring Eddie, whose description of the man begins the stream of sharp and engaging wit that runs through Hallam Breen and Phoebe Simmond’s script.

Eddie goes to the bar and there begins to chat to Dylan ( Matt Pettifor), who also has an uninspiring date. (Who needs gay bars?) Both quickly realise where the night urgently needs to go, and are soon back at Eddie’s. The path of love develops, with some productive interventions from Eddie’s older sister, Rosie (Roseanne Hitchen). She asks a question which discomforts the couple, and provokes further twists in the plot.

All three performers engage the audience warmly, and we feel for the two men as they have both lots of hot fun and embarrassing moments, and strains appear in the relationship. Whilst this show caused me to laugh a lot, and is striking for its very positive portrayal of gay lives – it keeps a million miles away from depression and suicide, thankfully – it also stood out for me for its vivid coverage of really bad sex. Not so often attempted, but truthful and worth including.

Both monogamy and open relationships are like Marmite – loved by some and hated by others. This is a dilemma central to this drama, but that does not stop this Marmite from being a joy throughout. The story develops as it should, and the ending is neither celebratory of downbeat. Just realistic. And all the better for that.

Marmite has a splendid script which is fully exploited by a very skillful cast. Get along to this delicious show, which is sure to be to your taste. I look forward to the future efforts of this company.

Tony Challis