Let Me Look At You explores the diametrically opposed relationship between two generations of gay men – between the narrator (Mark Pinkosh) and the eponymous ‘you’, a young man in his late 20s.
Performed at The Edge Theatre, a bijou venue in Chorlton, Pinkosh takes the audience through an engagingly performed LGBT history lesson, with some very informative content which exposes hidden narratives.
Over an hour the momentary (or rather, lingering) glance is articulated by exploring the complex emotions and thoughts which compose the act of looking at the ‘other’.
Pinkosh is aptly equipped to communicate the complexities of being gay, and the highs and lows, prejudice, and partying are all outlined using his expressive face and comedic and imposing physicality.
There are some extremely insightful moments, which artfully verbalise the inner feelings of gay teenagers and adults – shame, alienation from family members, and anger are all discussed.
There are some very painful moments such a hard hitting and deeply personal description of the AIDs epidemic, and the crafting of a link between chemsex and the desire for human connection.
The most affecting moment is the description of the loneliness of the LGBT journey, which compares the differences between being part of a BAME family and being gay within a straight family.
The staging is very simple and effective, and the one-man-play format manages to avoid becoming too preachy, as well as suiting the personal nature of the material, pulled together by Pinkosh’s interpersonal style.
There were some moments where I found myself getting lost and the time jumps within the content didn’t quite work.
Some of the leaps between global history, the contemporary encounter which held the entire narrative together, and Pinkosh’s internal monologue became a little confusing and wrong footing.
I similarly found the use of music and lighting to be off kilter at times.
However, this did not diminish from an extremely heartfelt performance and the affecting, emotive, and at times visceral material.
Overall Pinkosh’s personal warmth, the close-knit setting of the theatre, and the emotionally engaging narrative made for an intimate experience with some valuable take-aways.
This would be an educational piece for art for any non-LGBT audiences are curious about being gay, but don’t want to ask their friends and relatives awkward questions.
— The Edge (@TheEdgeMcr) October 12, 2018
Let Me Look At You returns to Manchester in 2019.