Review: The Chemsex Monologues
Words by Soph Landau
📍: German Club, Flinders Street.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / 5
“Why is this happening to our young gay men?”
After an incredibly successful run of sell out shows in the UK, Patrick Cash has imported his raw, hard-hitting theatre production The Chemsex Monologues to The Adelaide Fringe. Making its international debut, the thought-provoking and confronting messages of the show are universal, sparking a dialogue about the normalised use of drugs in gay communities all over the world.
A narrator, a nameless gay man, a fag-hag, and a sexual health worker take turns in delivering authentic perspectives through heavy and humorous monologues, revealing a narrative of the troublesome chemsex scene. The narrator, played passionately by Richard Watkins, opens the show with ease as he introduces the potentially naive audience to the thrills of chemically enhanced sex. With the increasing popularity of hardcore drugs such as methamphetamines and GHB being used for their erotic advantages, The Chemsex Monologues questions the problems of the phenomenon without sensationalising the issue.
Cash’s thoughtfully constructed script humanises the people behind the statistics by offering realistic perspectives, while also exemplifying the normalisation of gay death through apathetic observers and depictions of ‘controlled’ usage gone too far. The importance of the hilarious Fag Hag Cath, played by Remy Moynes, goes beyond a comic relief; her honest and captivating moments also humanise the production, inviting the audience to relate to the many faces of the chemsex scene, making the show broadly accessible.
The Chemsex Monologues is an entertaining work of art that will make you laugh whole-heartedly and care deeply. Exploring an important issue, the show utilises the fresh stage platform while fuelling the relevant discussion about the many ‘nameless’ people in LGBTQI+ communities and beyond.
The Chemsex Monologues will show at The German Club each night except Monday until March 19.