Jonny Khan stars in Very Special Guest Star which opens at Omnibus Theatre on 25 November, with previews from 23 November, and runs until 12 December.
Following sold-out runs of Undetectable and My Dad’s Gap Year, playwright Tom Wright’s darkly comedic and wildly sexy play follows a suburban gay couple trying to get in with Gen Z.
Rikki Beadle-Blair directs Jonny Khan (Quasim), Edd Muruako (Phil), and Alan Turkington (Michael).
You’re starring in Very Special Guest Star at Omnibus Theatre, what can you tell us about the play?
Very Special Guest Star is a darkly funny, twisted show that follows a suburban millennial couple in their quest to spice up their relationship by introducing a younger third into the mix. The show explores the conflict between people’s desires to be a good person versus our own inherent selfishness, and how the consequences of neglect can lead you down dark paths of self-discovery. It is a show about wanting to be wanted.
What was it about Tom Wright’s script that made you so keen to be a part of this production?
Tom Wright is an incredible writer who manages to create new and exciting stories that push boundaries, and forces audiences (and actors) to ask difficult questions of themselves. I was drawn to this script due to the complexity and relatability of the characters. Each of the characters are flawed in their own individual way but Tom’s writing allows you understand and relate to them. We’ve been very lucky to be able to have a long rehearsal process to allow ourselves to deeply explore each of the motivations that drive the character’s actions.
How well do you think the story handles queer dating, especially across different generations?
This play both examines and celebrates the variety of ways in which queer relationships can successfully work, particularly polyamorous relationships that subvert heteronormative standards of what is expected from a relationship. Through the three characters, the play explores the ever-changing power dynamics of people and relationships, and how queer dating changes from generation to generation.
What are you looking forward to most about working at The Omnibus Theatre?
The Omnibus is a very community-based theatre and I think the show is a perfect fit for local Clapham audiences. I’m excited to see audiences belly laughing as well as cringing in equal measure throughout the show. We are also doing cool things with the actual space of the theatre, configuring the theatre into a creative formation to make it feel as though you’re actually in a living room. We’re getting to use the amazing windows in the theatre which is exciting!
What do you think will be most challenging about this role for you as an actor?
Quasim is a very complex, multi-faceted character. I really want to find a middle ground between Quasim’s manipulative and confident side, as well as the side of him that is simply a lost young boy that wants to be loved. I’m focussed on striking a balance in the role to ensure that the character is giving the full arc that he deserves, and give audiences the opportunity to relate to him in a variety of ways.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Very Special Guest Star?
Strap in, you’re gonna gasp!