A creative multimedia approach, a captivating stage presence and an emotional human story shape The Queer Historian's Homophobe – a show that explores the complexities of discrimination and how the development of society influences it. It is thoughtful and dramatic, but it doesn't lack humour and extravagance: it condemns homophobia through the celebration of freedom of expression. An expression that is beautifully multifaceted and reflected in the dramatic speeches, the cabaret pieces and the monologues, which move the audience as much as they seem to genuinely move the performer.
I am not disappointed by the organisation and technical aspects of the show: the Komedia, which has become the pulsing heart of comedy at Brighton Fringe, is able to offer the perfect stage for the alternation between videos, recordings and live performance of Homophobe. The details of the overall staging and the carefully constructed succession of live and recorded elements create a continuous crescendo effect both in its tragic and comedic natures. The structural strength of Homophobe is clear as the audience's laughter, applause and tense silences fill the right spaces at the perfect moments, emphasising the already excellent quality of the show.
The Queer Historian does not only have an incredibly wide range of talents, but he is also able to bring a deeply personal experience in front of an audience in a heartfelt way. He masterfully presents complex sociological concepts to the spectators through a pastiche-like combination of cabaret, autobiographic monologue and social commentary. Although I appreciate his individual approach, I noticed a slight lack of a broader and possibly more inclusive perspective (lesbian, bisexual and trans people do not seem to be considered), which might not have been essential, but it could have brought more insights to the show. However, I do understand Homophobe is not about homophobia in general, but one man's experience of it and therefore the presence of other points of view on the issue might not be crucial.
Overall, Homophobe is an outstanding show that is able to involve its audience from the very first moment of The Queer Historian's stage presence. It presents a human story through the power of expression and art, enhancing every aspect of it.
This show has now finished at Brighton Fringe. For more information, visit here.