Fetish Knights, Rob Ellis’s comedy took pride of place in Manchester Pride (fringe) festival in 2011 and received rave reviews when repeated at the Lowry studio in August.
However, I believe although the writer tries to say that the seemingly light weight gay men are deeply sensitive human beings beneath the banter, it doesn’t quite work. It could be because the characters are so far-fetched, you can’t empathise with them.
Also some members of the audience on the night I attended were so noisy they detract from any emotion being conveyed. For example, when two men, obviously in love, kiss for the first time, what should be a tender moment is spoilt by the audience’s whooping. It might be their fault, Rob, but the effect you so carefully crafted doesn’t come across as well as it could do.
The action (and there is plenty of that!) takes place in the Associates Bar on Canal Street. It’s a glamorous world overseen by bar man, Karl (Dan Hooper). The writer himself plays the vain Sean who charismatically enters with his best friend Jake (Neil Ashton) where they meet up with lovers Kenneth (Bernard Latham) and Ted (Mark Sheals). Later, we learn the real story behind Sean’s swagger.
Claire King does well as Sean’s overbearing, wedding planning mother, Paula, currently working on the vol-au-vents for the nuptials of Julie (Nikki Sanderson). Former Corrie star - Sanderon's role is brief but she glides through the audience in a gorgeous wedding dress and later sings "Young Hearts, Run Free", beautifully.
Scene stealer Sue Devaney has one of the best characters - Janice Spendlove, the club’s cleaner, is genuinely amusing and the actress delivers the funny lines with aplomb.
If you enjoy people-watching, you’ll enjoy this play and, despite my reservations, its great fun.