Opening up conversations about crisis of identity and exploring sexuality in a world consumed by toxic masculinity, Tim Fraser’s debut play Candy sees a single Northern man fall in love with a beautiful singer… who just so happens to be his best friend in drag. Candy swings between comedy and pathos in a solo show performed by Michael Waller as Will, who tussles with his new feelings and what they might mean. As Will’s friendships, family life and work life crumble at the seams, the show explores the difficulty of grabbing life by the bollocks and ideas of loneliness in old age. Candy previewed at the King’s Head Theatre, London, and performed a full run and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Writer Tim Fraser said, “I wrote the original ten-minute monologue that Candy is based on in a frenzy, desperate to write something good for my film school grad showcase, fuelled by ponderings on romance and the spectrum of sexuality, the sound of ‘Andrew in Drag’ by The Magnetic Fields, and a fast-approaching deadline. By the time I started writing the full-length piece, I had themes on my mind that I was keen to delve into: toxic masculinity, mental health, and how all-consuming infatuation and heartbreak can be. Experiences that certain friends were going through with their gender and identity also inspired the play.
“Life throws a lot at us, particularly these days, and knowing and loving yourself is so important yet also endlessly challenging. Especially when you come from a culture that tells you it’s right and normal to button everything up and put on a brave face. But I hope the audience will leave Candy feeling that everything will be OK, if not now then eventually – we just have to keep working on ourselves.”
Reboot Theatre Company is a London-based theatre company, co-founded by Michael Waller and originally formed by a passionate and diverse group of actors committed to producing exciting theatre to challenge audiences and support new work by emerging artists. Reboot Theatre Company was formed in September 2015 by a group of actors after they trained and performed together at Morley College in London. The company’s name was inspired by their first production, Macbeth:Reboot – a physical theatre interpretation of Macbeth. Recent productions include a sellout series of new, short plays (Reboot: Shorts) by emerging writers, and Candy. As well as being an actor, co-founder Michael Waller is a respiratory doctor specialising in cystic fibrosis.
Director Nico Rao Pimparé is a British-Indian-French director, actor and ex-physicist. As a theatre director his credits include Diary of a Somebody (Seven Dials Playhouse), Rainer (Arcola Theatre),Nozdryov (Young Vic, Freshworks), and The Cherry Orchard as Assistant Director (Yard Theatre/Manchester HOME),
Candy is Tim Fraser’s debut play. He is the co-writer of Juniper Mae, a series of illustrated children’s books, the first of which was published by Flying Eye Books in March this year. Tim has an MA in Screenwriting from the NFTS and was part of BBC Writersroom’s London Voices in 2022.
Candy is at Park Theatre 22 August – 9 September.