Obiter marked the end of LGBT+ history month with a trip to the theatre: Martin Sherman’s Gently Down the Stream. Rather excitingly for Gazette readers, one of the characters, the youthful foil to ageing cocktail pianist ‘Beau’ (played by Jonathan Hyde), is a solicitor! No longer, Obiter notes, is The Woman in Black the only current London play with a decent role for someone with a practising certificate.
M&A lawyer ‘Rufus’ (Ben Allen) is a millennial who takes for granted the LGBT+ gains of the previous decades – which stands in contrast to Beau’s long experience of prejudice and loss stretching back to the 1960s. The play’s neat device combines the changes for gay men that Beau has witnessed over his life with time involving him and Rufus, which covers the past 13 years. It’s a thoughtful reflection on progress, except that another area of Rufus’s life reflects no progress whatsoever: the working demands of a City law firm. Failure to fit with the long-hours culture, Rufus complains, means being treated ‘as if guilty’ of ‘the sort of crimes [the firm] defends people for’.
Gently Down the Stream is at north London’s Park Theatre until 16 March.