Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz Review Charming Debut Play

Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz Review  Charming Debut Play

This one-man show by Nathan Quilley-Dennis is written with the wind. The thread of his material is thinner, but the aspiring actor-playwright delivers with such flamboyant charm, confident comic timing and a tender sense of male romanticism that he holds the viewer in his arms.

The defining image of Bullring Techno Makeout Jamz, the 2022 Bruntwood Drama Prize winner, is the black heart emoji. The social media symbol is a way for men, especially black men, to express brotherly love without appearing feminine, Quilley-Dennis said. His work argues that men - fathers, sons, friends or lovers - express love in a sensual, kind and compassionate way.

Like Miriam Beatty's Strategic Love Play, also directed by Paynes Plough in The Ring Tent, the story is set in the world of twentysomething dating, a minefield of absence, awkward conversations and the subtle nuances of labeling. Quilley-Dennis, who plays a character named Nathaniel, a fine arts graduate who works in a call center, is presented as a serial personality who loves to dress up and sometimes dress up. If I didn't want something more in life, suspended due to a stagnant economy, it could go on forever.

It's a refreshingly wholesome portrait of masculinity, although its disdain will make you laugh out loud. His relationship with the barber is erotic in its intimacy. Her skincare routine borders on obsessive. And during Dermot Daly's production, he wears some new items. With his Destiny's Child references (all the women he meets are named after the singer), he couldn't be less macho, even though Nathaniel retains his place as a rapper when he's at a techno club in Birmingham.

Fun and playful, he has the playfulness and fluidity inherent in stand-up comedy. It would be great to see Quilley-Dennis return with more meaningful material.

At Roundabout @ Summerhall, Edinburgh until 27 August.
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