Geoff Aymer will star in the world première of Paul Harvard’s debut play GHBoy, which is at the Charing Cross Theatre from 3rd December and runs until 20th December.
This brand-new piece of theatre tackles the misconceptions around gay culture and promiscuity. Something far more ominous is driving men like Robert to the point of self-destruction.
You’re starring in GHBoy at Charing Cross Theatre, what can you tell us about the play?
GHBoy at its core is a play about a young man’s search for his own self-validation. By way of satisfying his physical and carnal desires, he submerges himself in a subculture of hedonism and instant physical gratification but when presented with the opportunity to have something that is far more emotionally fulfilling, he struggles to accept it and thinks himself perhaps not worthy of a higher love so to speak.
Tell us about your character, what do you like and dislike most about them?
I play a character called Benjamin. You might say he’s very damaged. He’s a sexual predator with a very dark and twisted sense of what it takes to achieve sexual gratification. “Baddies” are always fun to play because ultimately, they have no filter, have no respect for rules or authority, and that can be quite liberating. Also, for me, I’m always intrigued by what makes people like that tick. We’re all human beings underneath it all so what makes one person go down one path and another go down a much darker one. I suppose the frustrating part of this is we don’t really get to explore Benjamin’s back story because much of his appearances come as a result of the main character, Robert’s nightmares or psychological manifestations of his own shortcomings. So, it’s a somewhat skewed vision of who Benjamin actually is.
What is it about Paul Harvard’s writing that made you want to be a part of this production?
First, the subject matter explored in this play is very new to me and I’m always fascinated to learn about other subcultures and lifestyles different from what I already know. I also like the way Paul uses overlapping dialogue—almost like having multiple scenes playing out with a scene. It helps move the story along and it also creates a sense of the multiple factors constantly pulling the main character to and fro simultaneously, and the psychological turmoil all these competing factors have on him.
What’s been the biggest challenge in preparing for this role in the middle of a pandemic?
I don’t think there’s anything significantly different in the way I’ve prepared for this role than how I would have in normal circumstances. Obviously, the rehearsal process has had to be conducted within Covid safety guidelines but my own preparation has more or less been the same as normal.
Have you been surprised by any of the themes explored in GHBoy?
I have most definitely been surprised by the themes explored here. I had no prior knowledge of the world of chemsex. I also wasn’t aware of the use of therapy through art. Very illuminating.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see GHBoy?
First, any new piece of writing is worth having a look at. Every writer has their own identity and perspective of the world around us so it’s always good to hear a new voice. Secondly, I would imagine that much of the subject matter explored here will be new to a lot of people. Come and educate yourselves. Lastly, it’s a very human story well crafted. And although the lifestyle explored is specific, the human themes are universal. Everyone at some point in their lives questions their self-worth and we all need love (sorry if that sounds a bit syrupy 😎)
Main Image: Geoff Aymer c. Bettina John