Ask Audrey Ask Audrey
Archived

All I See Is You

"frank and tender"

Audrey review: A gripping, heartbreaking and hopeful story and a testimony to the heroism of love against hate.

Text size
Text size
Add to favourites

All I See Is You

Date: 18 Sep 2019

Their love is unlikely in all kinds of ways. Bobby, a true English lad, works at Woollies and lives with his folks in a council house.

Ralph, a sweet-tempered intellect studying a Master of Education, is the type to bring a book to a club.

Yet these barriers of class pale against all the other forces mounted against them. The two men only see each other as they meet on a street corner.

The strangers become lovers. But it’s 1960s England: being true to themselves and each other is an invitation to ruin.

Homosexuality is illegal, and for all the talk of overturning the laws, it won’t be decriminalised for another 10 years. If the outside world knew what they were up to, they’d see nothing but a filthy vice – a disorder to be fixed, by whatever invasive, brutal or shaming means necessary.

While the community furtively celebrates its lifestyle as best it can, persecution is an omniscient menace. It can erupt in a disgusted snarl from a father, a raid on a club, or a knock on the door late at night. It can ruin careers, relationships and livelihoods. (And let’s not forget, today around the world, it still can.)

For Ralph, though he curses himself a coward, the risks are too great. Confronting the impossible, inhumane choice between being with the one he adores and sacrificing everything, he despairs. The two spiral away from each other: Ralph mimics a ‘normal life’; Bobby chases carnal pleasures to forget.

A gripping, heartbreaking and hopeful story inspired by true accounts of queer love half a century ago, All I See is You is a testimony to the heroism of love against hate.

More reviews? Subscribe to our newsletter

Written by Kathrine Smith and directed by Ben Occhipinti and Mark Powell, this UK production arrives to Sydney Fringe with a deserving bounty of awards for writing and performance. It’s a resonant reminder of the state-sanctioned malice of the not-so-distant past, and individuals’ courage to defy it.

Ciarán Griffiths and Christian Edwards are compelling twin leads, the fast-paced script weaving their dialogue and monologues on a spare black stage.

The passion that their characters show for each other is frank and tender and resolutely visible.

A final shout-out to the staff at the Old 505 Theatre for getting the set so clean and bare. I had seen the very enjoyable Table for Two? just half an hour earlier, and left it a scene of spaghetti salad carnage.

All I See is You will be playing at Newtown’s The Innocent Bystander Touring Hub until Saturday.

The show plays the Melbourne Fringe, September 24-28

Content
The Real Thing
Add to favourites
ArchivedDrama Theatre, Sydney Opera House 9 Sep - 26 Oct 2019

The Real Thing

Audrey review: Sydney Theatre Company delivers an evening of quality stroke play on the smoothest wicket imaginable.

Splinter
Add to favourites
ArchivedGriffin Theatre, Kings Cross, Sydney 6 Sep - 12 Oct 2019

Splinter

Audrey review: Hilary Bell’s moody Australian gothic drama Splinter picks at a couple’s raw and exposed nerves.

The God of Isaac
Add to favourites
ArchivedEternity Playhouse, Darlinghurst, Sydney 5 - 22 Sep 2019

The God of Isaac

Audrey review: If this comedy's central question - what does it mean to be a Jew? – doesn’t resonate with you, others it poses should.

See More

More to see

View All
Party Snake
Add to favourites
ArchivedOld 505 Gallery, Newtown, Sydney 17 - 21 Sep 2019

Party Snake

Party Snake delves into the world of drag on a raw, personal and philosophical level.

Shaz and Tina: Waiting for Uber
Add to favourites
ArchivedErskineville Town Hall, Sydney 24 - 28 Sep 2019

Shaz and Tina: Waiting for Uber

In a dark alley outside one of Sydney's hottest nightclubs, two friends await the arrival of their ride-share.

Nanna-Stasia
Add to favourites
ArchivedErskineville Town Hall, Sydney 17 - 21 Sep 2019

Nanna-Stasia

When Eleanor Stankiewicz was seven she watched the animated film Anastasia and imagined it was the story of her grandmother.

None So Blind
Add to favourites
ArchivedErskineville Town Hall, Sydney 24 - 28 Sep 2019

None So Blind

Sydney writer Garreth Cruikshank explores the loneliness, repression and moral ambiguity lurking behind sexual abuse.

Top