Spain @ Citizens
A sharp contrast to James Ley’s last Glasgay! entry – an urgent yet funny look at one teacher’s nervous breakdown – Spain takes a holiday from the mundane that becomes a lifestyle. Having run away from the UK, its hero finds himself pondering the meaning of his diverse sexual adventures in the Balearics, testing his resolve to find a new, meaningful way of living.
Much of the play centres around his dysfunctional relationship with a married macho: against the torment of this amour fou, the other tales of casual sex, drag hilarity and social disorder become a background to his realisation that he is being used. Energetically performed by co-creator Mark Kydd, it balances between a celebration of hedonism and a longing for a more sustainable way of life: Ley’s honesty in making this part of his “ego play” cycle – one person shows that unashamedly focus on subjective experiences – prevent the issues presented, such as the cost of self-knowledge, from overwhelming the humour and positivity. Within a Glasgay! driven by the idea of “representation”, Spain is a worthy, playful hour telling one man’s story sincerely.