Fronting (3 stars)

This article is from 2018


credit: Richard Walker

A serious reflection on love and danger and trauma

When Will and David stumble into the latter's flat following a late-night hook-up in a club, it looks like we're in for a familiar story. But before they dash for the bedroom, David has something he needs to tell his new-found partner for the night, and the two young guys are soon discussing recent loves, family relationships and unexpected traumas from their respective pasts.

With its tender portrait of two young gay men circling each other in search of affection and security, Glasgow playwright Darren Hardie's well-meaning love story has its heart very much in the right place, above all in its mature, considered examination of HIV and the condition's continuing stigma and impact.

It's a thoughtful, reflective show that unfolds as a succession of conversations, but its format could have done with a bit more variety to bring the play's issues more vividly alive. Hardie covers a lot of topics, too – sex, family, music, religion and more. So many, in fact, that few are examined in the depth they deserve. Conor O'Donnelly is nicely thoughtful in the central role of David, but Kirsty McAdam's direction strikes too restrained and too similar a tone throughout, and opportunities for drama and development sometimes feel left unexplored. It's a touching hour of theatre, but one that ends up seeming more like lengthy exposition than compelling drama.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug (not 14), 12.45pm, £8–£11 (£7–£10).


  • 3 stars

Yellowbird Theatre Following its award-winning run at the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival in 2017, Yellowbird Theatre are excited to present Fronting as their Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut. David is a young man, recently diagnosed with HIV, and anger and rage seem destined to consume him. However the arrival…