Yesterday my sister and I headed off to Charing Cross theatre, a quaint little theatre, hidden under the arches near Charing Cross Station. I had a pair of tickets to see Yank!, thanks to being a Time Out Tastemaker.
All I knew about the show, was that it was about gay soldiers during WWII. I didn’t know whether it was a play or musical (I assumed play), I didn’t know whether it would be a drama or a comedy (assumed the formed), and I didn’t know whether I would like it or not (I wasn’t sure what to assume!).
Here is advance warning of some spoilers…but the show ends in 3 weeks, so unless you’re going to see it, read on!
The show follows Stuart – AKA Light Loafers, AKA Stu-bee, as he joins the army, read from the POV of a young man who found his journal in a junk store, and wanted to re-tell, and be part of his story.
Stu is slim, shy, and undeniably gay (however much he joins in with the singing about beautiful ladies)Embed from Getty Images
In Stu’s platoon, or ‘squad’, as they later refer to themselves, Stu meets Mitch – a ‘straight’ man, one of the lads, but who definitely has a soft spot for Stu.
They share their first kiss in the dead of night, when everyone else was sleeping, and Mitch freaked out. This prompted Stu to team up with gay photographer, lets call him AG (as that’s what he’s called in the journal),and become a reporter, for the servicemen magazine, Yank! He had a few dalliances with men around the world, but was always drawn back to Mitch. He even turned down the chance to go to Hawaii – HELLO!? As you can see, Hawaii is beautiful, so Stu was clearly madly in love.Embed from Getty Images
The story culminated, following 89th platoon all suffering life-changing injuries, with Mitch confessing to Stu that he married….a woman. Stu was, of course, heartbroken, and made it clear he wasn’t able to see Mitch again. Why do no gay stories ever end happily ever after!?Embed from Getty Images
The cast were truly fantastic. Scott Hunter played Stu, and Andy Coxon represented Mitch – both wonderful actors, and Coxon’s voice is just divine. No wonder he’s also been in Les Mis!
Then a strange thing happened; about 20 minutes from the end, a woman, dressed in normal 20th century clothes, just wandered onto the stage! Initially I thought she was someone drunk, telling the actors they were doing well…..but as all the actors left the stage, it transpired there was an urgent issue backstage, so the play was halted. Interestingly, before the play paused, Mitch wasn’t on the stage, and when it resumed at the same place, he was. Take from that what you will. I’m going for stomach bug, and I felt very bad for Hunter if he had to keep kissing him, if my theory is correct!
Overall, a truly wonderful piece of theatre – it’s only on until 19th August, so get your tickets and head on down! If you’ve not used Today Tix before, you can use code VKVEE for £10 off your order…and the tickets are reasonably priced already!
Score – 4.5/5
UPDATE: Coxon didn’t have a stomach bug…he had a nosebleed!