Review: Dumbledore is SO Gay!, Southwark Playhouse, By Hannah Goslin

 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Throw me something Queer and Harry Potter related, and I am there. While walking into the room, I was already transported by the simple yet extravagantly painted room that crossed barriers of reality and magic.

Dumbledore is SO Gay! is a coming of age tale about Jack who struggles with his sexuality as a teen, his feelings and actions while figuring this out and the consequences of this. His love of Harry Potter allows him to travel in and change time to create a better and more inclusive world. His favourite character is Dumbledore, the only opening gay character and he feels affinity with him and his magical powers. But also questions, why is the only queer character killed off and is this a metaphor for life?

As a teen during the Harry Potter explosion of the noughties and a continued fan (I openly watch it on repeat most days of the week and Stephen Fry narrating it on audible is how I get to sleep), the references were specific, real and relatable. The love of Harry Potter was a real era for us and continues into our adulthood and the parry of this with the element of growing up and finding out who you are worked well. We certainly felt and went through this with the characters themselves during the Harry Potter years and so it reflects well on stage with Jack and his friends.

Jack continues as himself through the whole production and, as the main character, to see him change as a person is fascinating. Jack has the chance to change time, to tackle moments of homophobia to change the landscape, and how many of us have wanted to change the past? He grows with these changes and they change him, his opinion and confidence to protest and change the world.

The other characters are covered by two other cast members and both change voices, accents, personalities and physicality with complete smoothness that we believe they are different people. A moment where they break down the forth wall and become self aware when one actor has to revive two of her characters at once – the back and forth is its own comedy and her smooth transition it absolutely excellent.

The movement between scenes, through the time turning and that transition is so flawless. The actors are faultless. And the story and narrative is perfection. The only qualm would be references to queer culture that some may not know and maybe do not get the comical or emotional response that they deserve. But that would be the case for myself as a female, ally and undecided on my own labels. I understood many, from my ally-ship and friends but likely a lot were specific to queer, male culture in London. But this only meant that those who affiliate with that would have their own feelings of something more relatable to them.

Dumbledore is SO Gay! is relatable to many, specifically relatable to others, emotional, comical and over all fantastic. It is a show for any millennial, any queer person and anyone struggling with who they are. It is a triumph of a theatre production.

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