Up4aMeet is a play about gay social networking apps like the GPS based ‘buddy finder’ Grindr. It certainly lives up to its billing as a ‘naked gay comedy’, with plenty of gratuitous nudity from the start. That said, the cheap laughs, willies and over-the-top campness cannot mask the production’s shortcomings.
The play centres around the mad sequence of events which follows gay flatmates Carlos and Grant inadvertently swapping phones and, thanks to gay app ‘The Cock Shop’, mistaken identity, chaos and hilarity naturally ensue.
Chris Wills does a good job in a well-pitched performance as the handsome lonely heart Grant. Michael Blore as neighbouring wannabe drag queen Julian makes an equally good stab at his role, but somehow fails to seem comfortable onstage.
Benedict Garrett conversely seems entirely comfortable as the Spanish naturist Carlos in a role that sees him naked for most of the show. Nikki Graham is surprisingly good in her role as mouthy TV presenter Stacey. Lloyd Daniels, while looking splendid in a little pair of briefs, tends towards mumbling through a character that is rather thinly written.
Up4aMeet is a commendable farce but sadly it is lacking in pace and drive. Director and writer Jeff Moody doesn’t pull any punches in this production and marches every gay cliché across the stage like a RuPaul episode from gay hell, but the cock jokes wear thin after over two hours.
Moody does do well, however, to keep tongue planted in cheek throughout. This isn’t Chekov, but it isn’t trying to be. It is unashamedly trying to appeal to a gay audience, and with some adjustments it could be a great fun night. At the moment, though, it isn’t quite there.
** (2 stars)
On tour, various venues
Runs until 10th August 2013