5 Guys Chillin' (4 stars)

The destructive power of chemsex is bought into the light

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5 Guys Chillin'

While its verbatim script and loose structure prevents 5 Guys from becoming an entirely coherent piece of theatre – the characters are inconsistent and the episodes don't cohere into a dramatic narrative – it achieves its polemical aim as a warning against casual sex and drugs. Set at a house party, where the five guys hook up for some hot, high action, the shared stories describe the pleasure and pain of getting off while getting wasted.

There's plenty of fun at first: the excitement of meeting a stranger, or turning up to an orgy, and exploring personal limits. Sadly, this leads to risk-taking behaviour, infections and personal kinks that go beyond even liberal limits. The five men wander around, chatting and occasionally snogging, but their chat exposes personal conflicts and, increasingly, life-threatening dangers.

By the finale, when the darkest confessions emerge, the production has made its point. A generation of men are unable to have stable relationships, are carelessly catching STDs and damaging their bodies through an almost thoughtful desire for drugs and sex. It is as shocking as a government funded advert from the 1980s, with a tombstone casting a shadow over the cheeky, fun-seeking characters.

C too, until 29 Aug, 11pm, £10.50–£11.50 (£8.50–£9.50).

5 Guys Chillin'

  • 4 stars

EM-Lou Productions Award-winning graphic, gripping, funny and frank verbatim drama exposing the gay chemsex chill-out scene. From surgeons to students, couples to kink; guys that love it and lost guys longing to be loved. Made from interviews with guys found on Grindr, 5 Guys Chillin’ is an original look into a…

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