Theatre Review: Hot Gay Time Machine

If there’s a more apposite time of year to stage a camp “extravaGAYnza” than Christmas, Cary Gee can’t think of one.

From the two boyz (and girl) who reinvented the wives of Henry VIII as an all-singing, all-dancing girl group in award-winning musical Six comes Hot Gay Time Machine – ostensibly a coming-out story that highlights the significant moments (thus far) in the lives of our protagonists (and writers), Cambridge grads Toby Marlow and Zac Ghazi -Torbati.

In front of a shimmering curtain the duo camp it up like avenging superheroes, wielding self-knowledge and no-holds-barred in-yer-face camp attack as their secret weapon.

The 18+ advisory tag ensures this is no place for pantomimed innuendo. Instead “We Like to Look at Cocks in the Locker Room” is sung in surprisingly strong and harmonious tenor voices, as confident in their ability to hit the high notes as they are in their material and their audience. A sureness of touch that can in part can be explained by the hiring of a “social media consultant” to work on pre-publicity.
And the audience laps up the rudery with the wantoness of a dipso in a gin distillery.

There are, of course, quieter, more emotionally-charged moments – It would be impossible to tell a story as fabulous as this without a little reflection – but they are few and far between. “I’m Coming Out” is less of an anthem and more of a manifesto – Indeed the whole glittering “she-bang” is presented as a pre-emptive strike against the tedious monotony of straight suburbia and is all the better for it.

And as a foretaste of what we can expect in the future from Zac (the taller and ever-so-slightly less camp one) who takes centre stage for most of the evening, and Toby, who acts as foil and accompanist, along with (co-writer and director) Lucy Moss, Hot Gay Time Machine promises much.

Like finding your host has served up “disco biscuits” in place of a stodgy plum pudding Hot Gay Time Machine is a wonderful antidote to traditional Christmas fare, and every bit as tasty.

Hot Gay Time Machine is at the Trafalgar Studios in London until 5 January
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