Toxic at Home Mcr
Toxic, a new play by Nathaniel J Hall, who stars in it alongside Josh-Susan Enright, and produced by Dibby Theatre, is playing at HOME’s Theatre 2 for 10 nights from October 18th before touring next year. Nathaniel will be remembered from It’s a Sin, and this play is drawn from his own life and experiences. It’s a well-researched piece, and some of the topics will be familiar to a lot of people.
The play spans the period from when Nathaniel and Josh meet, to when mutually assured destruction is guaranteed if they don’t separate. It’s not an unusual tale, but the end is in sight when they decide to take others on board sexually. Even then, things might have been rescued had cool heads pertained (and condoms employed). They didn’t though, and from then it’s almost inevitable that things aren’t going to work out.
Toxic is beautifully – and arrestingly – painful. Set in 2017, it’s a powerful piece, and very well acted. The language, strong at times, is entirely appropriate, and the action is well paced. We all know what goes on in the various purlieus (bars, saunas, online etc), but the protagonists think they’re invincible because the mantra U=U has been drilled into them, and caution (and condoms) are thrown to the wind. Fair enough between two monogamous people, but once a third party is introduced all bets are off with catastrophic consequences. Amidst all the agony there are moments of humour, although it’s true that there aren’t many of them.
The set is minimally versatile (no sniggering please) and before the play Nathaniel and Josh-Susan stand in front of it to introduce themselves and warm us up. Afterwards they addressed us again to send us on our way with some things to consider. It’s a nice touch.
Toxic continues its run at HOME until October 28th.
Paul Schofield for Canal Street Media.
Image by Dawn Kilner.
Published: 20-Oct-2023 (7287)