Showing the Monster
at The Alma Tavern Theatre

"Steve Lambert’s tart, atmospheric and very funny play has a touch of the Russian dolls about it.
Its surface theme is 1968’s Theatres Act, which abolished censorship in British theatre. Soon enough, though, layers of supplementary meanings emerge.
London, ’68: toast-of-the-town director John (Alan Coveney) is rehearsing – with the blessing of the recent Act – a new play featuring a gay kiss. Is this an intoxicating new freedom, though, or merely a different type of shackle?
Ben (Oliver Millingham) is the cocky, headstrong tyro actor for whom the kiss crystallises everything that ’68 – that heady year of rebellion, creative expression and youth culture – has achieved. But, we soon learn, The Kiss means more for him than mere politics. Enter Diane (Dee Sadler), the play’s (seemingly) ruthless producer, who decrees that, Act or no Act, there’s to be no kiss: British theatregoers aren’t yet ready for this stuff.
What unfurls is a fascinating network of fear, risk, professional jealousy, intergenerational rivalry and latent sexuality.
All three actors captivate, with Sadler and Coveney showing a splendid chemistry as a comfortable theatrical ‘couple’ built on unspoken master/servant dynamics; Millingham’s long-haired, loud-cravated Sixties child crackles with youthful defiance and swagger.
Directed superbly by Pameli Benham, the play’s beautifully paced, with moments of quiet reflection and vulnerability amongst its more frequent bursts of Wildean wit. Brilliant. (*****)"