W*nk Buddies @ Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Jake Jarratt and Cameron Sharp discuss masculinity and sexuality at the dreg-ends of a house party in this touching production
Most of us, at one time or another, have ended up in bed with someone we didn’t know; blame drink, the music, or maybe the fact we just didn't want to lie on the floor. Reminiscing on their separate experiences at university, Jake Jarratt and Cameron Sharp end up sharing a room at a house party. The result is an engaging discussion that tackles masculinity and sexuality.
The chemistry between Jarratt and Sharp is authentic, and their actions of dressing up, drinking, sharing stories and encounters feel genuine and honest. From Jarratt’s expectations of getting laid to Sharp’s grimaces hearing about the gay club scene, W*nk Buddies doesn’t force drama or outrage. It just presents natural storytelling which covers a multitude of themes, as well as Britney’s greatest hits.
The pair's frank discussions around masculinity are touching, not only in substance but in how naturally accessible the conversations are. Nothing feels shoe-horned or preachy – the pair engage in honest debate and a mutual acknowledgement of their differences. This is a 3am production with a few cans, a couple of boogies and the forging of a friendship which will last for a single night.
Beyond manhood and sexuality, W*nk Buddies tackles the class struggles of education. Jarratt’s position as the straight guy of the duo transcends a one-dimensional persona. Jarrett isn’t an instigator of homophobia: he’s a guy with ill-informed, ignorant judgements on Sharp’s sexuality and lifestyle. Equally, Sharp’s dismissal of Jarratt’s working-class upbringing highlights a persistent trend within the arts community. For as much as theatre preaches about lower-income artists, theatrical circles are still often inaccessible.
W*nk Buddies is an interesting commentary on the open nature of 'the house party'. In these settings, we often end up putting previous prejudices aside, and, for one night, stepping into someone else's shoes. Jarratt & Sharp are welcome to share a bed anytime, just so long as they continue sharing their storytelling talents long into the night.