Preview: Boom Bang-a-Bang at Above The Stag

Boom Bang a Bang at Above The Stag
Boom Bang a Bang at Above The Stag

First performed in 1995 to sell-out audiences at the Bush Theatre and originally directed by Kathy Burke, Boom Bang-a-Bang, Jonathan Harvey’s high-camp, farcical exploration of sexuality finds a natural home at Above The Stag, the UK’s only dedicated LGBT+ theatre space.

Boom Bang-a-Bang is a gloriously bittersweet play, set in Kentish Town on Eurovision night 1995, Lee’s first Eurovision party since his partner Michael died.

Lee is nervous. He and Michael were known for hosting the best Eurovision parties in town. Now Michael is dead (from a brain tumour, contrary to the gossips whispering that it was AIDS), and Lee wants to honour his memory while proving he can manage by himself.

But there’s a rival party in town and most of Lee’s most fabulous friends seem to think the mourning vibe will dampen his soiree! Will anybody come? Will they get on? Will they get on too well? Will there be too many straight people? Get your party on, top up your Buck’s fizz and settle in for the night…

You needn’t be a Eurovision-head to fall for this production – though there are plenty of in-joke references for those recognise the title as Lulu’s 1995 winning tune! Boom-Bang-a-Bang is about the very human rivalry between those gathered to enjoy the competition; getting far below the skin of ostensibly stereotypical gay characters. Lee is joined by a small but far from select gathering of friends. In scouser Lee, his adopted sister Wendy, irrepressible Steph, beautiful rave boy Roy, awkward Norman from the flat upstairs and warring couple Nick and Tanya, writer Jonathan Harvey has weaved an explosively celebratory plot, which astutely reimagines the bounds of conventional sexual and gender categories. As the atmosphere heats up recriminations and revelations fly and there will be blood, sweat and tears before the voting begins.

Boom-Bang-a-Bang is an intimate get-together of a performance, brimming with hilarity and host to instantly familiar and long memorable characters. High farce and lashings of campiness combine with sensitive insight, in this comedic exploration of LGBT+ subcultures.

Boom-Bang-a-Bang is at Above The Stag 3rd May to 9th June 2019.

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