Homo Asbo, Richard Fry’s one-man play
about life as a gay chav isn’t initially terribly likeable. His character, Winston, is a Yeovil
hardman who ends up in jail because he finds that fighting is a good way of proving to people that he's not a queer.
Fry is enjoyable to watch, but this early material is not
particularly strong: Winston frequently interrupts his narrative with songs and
asides that add little, and many of the jokes he includes are underwhelming.
In the second half, however, the show comes into its own,
with Fry speaking eloquently and passionately about the perils of sexual
stereotyping and the limitations of a gay scene that professes to be all inclusive, but is actually anything but.
It’s an important message that deserves to be heard and once
Fry gets into his stride on the topic and stops trying so hard to entertain,
the show becomes much funnier, its humour coming from the clever wordplay that
is finally allowed to come through. If only it didn’t take so long to get there.