The 2008 segments are not exactly light-hearted, but in comparison to the oppressive feel of 1958, they are downright optimistic. Where the past had to make do with clever witticisms for its laughs, the present can throw out anecdotes about dicks "as long as forearms," personal ads in the Gay Times from 33-year-old simulated rape, rubber, rimming, felching enthusiasts looking for romance, and flamboyant out-of-work actors role-playing as Nazi officers for pay. The characters retain their names with a slight life reshuffle. Oliver is still a struggling writer; except instead of trips to Greece, he likes to stroll through the park at night searching out strangers to satisfy while on his knees. Philip, his boyfriend (now ex-) is understandably dismayed and, by his own admission, depressed at Oliver’s inability to stay faithful. Sylvia, Oliver’s best friend, tries to reconcile the couple.
In the age of sexual freedom, all is still not well in the gay community. Sylvia feels offended on Oliver’s behalf when a girl in a nightclub uses the word “gay” to describe a shit song. Oliver just shrugs. On Pride day, which is meant to be a demonstration, celebration and fashion show rolled into one, the three friends picnic in the park. Sylvia nips off for an ice-cream and leaves Philip and Oliver to talk things over. Reluctantly, Philip accepts Oliver’s apologies and offers one of his own, which is made more poignant in light of their parallel, volatile 1958 relationship. The play ends on a hopeful note and reiterates that “it will be all right.”
-- OLGA BAS
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