Confessions of a Mormon Boy, entirely written and performed by Steven Fales and directed by the Tony award-winning Jack Hofsiss, was a far cry from the envisioned eloquent religious debate. The enthusiastic central character – Steven himself – hails from Salt Lake City, and, over an epic hour-and-a-half long period, proceeds to bash out his journey from a straight-laced family-man, deeply involved in the Mormon church, to a New York escort, complete with muscles and mini-briefs.
Steven’s relentless charisma led to a one-level performance that was characterised by bizarre pirhouetting, singing – not speaking – the lines
Informative though the play was, and touching in places, given that this production is Steven Fales’ real-life tale, the delivery of the monologue felt disconnected from the events that he was describing. Steven’s relentless charisma led to a one-level performance that was characterised by bizarre pirhouetting, singing – not speaking – the lines, and graphic reenactments of his ‘experiences’, which felt tawdry, not humourous. The few moments of quiet despondency that occassionally surfaced excellently revealed the true pain and confusion that Steven experienced, and brought a poignancy to the production in a way that his barechested aggression could not. Technical elements were put to good effect, however, with samples of Steven singing as a child, interjectory voices from ‘God’, and lighting changes to mark chapters of Steven’s life.
A high-brow discussion surrounding homosexuality and religion this is not; rather, Confessions of a Mormon Boy will make you laugh in places, and induce tears in others – but not necessarily for the intended reasons.
** (2 stars)
Runs until 24th September