Love Song To Lavender Menace
The Lyceum Studio, Edinburgh
Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
Being played out in the Lyceum Studio, normally used for rehearsals, was the long awaited and anticipated play Love Song To Lavender Menace by James Ley. Set in Edinburgh’s gay community in the mid to late 1980s, with the city’s gay bookshop taking centre stage. As the lights dim and change direction the set design springs to life; a tall structure of towering book cases simplified with white lines creating the outline of books, the effect channels an image of the many barriers we cross in search of the right answers. We may also observe an 80s ghetto blaster complete with tapes and a red duffle bag that has nostalgia written all over it. A simple but effective stage design makes way for the smooth operators that are proud owners of the one and only gay bookshop in Edinburgh’s New Town. Skipping onto the stage with a repetitive tongue and engulfed in a happy smile that would make you think that you were strutting your stuff on the dance floor of Fire Island , you could sense this was going to be a show full of fun and humour, as well as delicate politics. Striking first, Lavender Menace makes a point straight from the start that this is a piece of theater that is to be enjoyed, laughed at and not to be taking too seriously, opening the door and allowing some of those dark shadows behind it to come out into the light. Liberating !!!!!
The acting on display from both Lewis and Glen was as real as as it gets, with very believable characters that had been chipped and modeled like a good marble sculpture, they connected with the audience with the same modus operandi as a piece of cheese that connects with Branston pickles. Centered around the turbulent and loving relationship of these two men and a Policeman (enter Fire Island), the story plays host to the many observations of LGBT movement in the 1980s. Lavender Menace is challenging in many ways and pushes aside the man-made images of gay life. Conjuring up thoughts that provoke your emotions, Lavenderstirs you up and leaves you in a cauldron of side -plitting jokes and sketches that spread an immensely amusing blanket aslant the end product. A well-written script was polished with a very open-minded approach which stuns the hearts of the audience & in subsequence allows them to embrace the message on offer. This is a piece of theater that will thrill and captivate, shatter political laws, chase rainbows, reinvent humour, warm your bobby-socks and get you to ask questions about some of the prejudices we encounter in today’s society. Love Song to Lavender Menace breaks down the walls that hold you inside, but also gives you shelter from fragile storms. With cultural direction, justice and liberation, and a twist of camp fun, Lavenderoffers up a concoction of all that is good in humanity. A message of love and respect for all and always be true to who you are !!!!!! Refreshing.
Reviewer : Raymondo