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So You’ve Found Me at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre

A brief review of a brief play. Nemo (Luis Donegan-Brown) has had his fair share of lovers – I began to wonder whether I was going to be able to keep up with the proverbial revolving door. But no partner is left behind, so to speak, and there are enough details about them to get to know who they are to a certain extent. As ever with single-person narratives, the audience doesn’t hear the perspectives of Nemo’s significant others and close friends. But this briskly paced story of a young man with much of the rest of his life still ahead of him rightly comes across as something that ends unfinished – there’s still much to discover, about himself and about life, and that will all come in the fullness of time.

So You've Found MeIn marked contrast to many contemporary plays exploring similar themes, this one strongly suggests that, at least in some cases, things have moved on from the days when ‘coming out’ involved being ostracised and possibly even disowned by one’s parents. There’s a perception, wherever it comes from, that revealing a non-heterosexual sexual identity would result in arguments, shock horror and disbelief. But rather than an indictment on modern society, this play, without being in any way condescending or invalidating the experiences of people who have been discriminated against for being part of the LGBTQ+ community, paints a picture of a family that accepts a coming out announcement with civility, courtesy, affirmation and respect.

As Nemo more or less admits, a tensionless narrative doesn’t make great theatre – all the characters love (or at least don’t hate) all the other characters, and any differences of opinion remain just that, without turning into arguments, let alone fights. But it would be a mistake to think the play is attempting a portrayal of fantastical utopia – there are various frustrations expressed in humorous ways, and Donegan-Brown commands the stage with an exuberant presence in what is a remarkably magnetic performance.

The production relies on the art of storytelling, and underneath the surface talk of dating apps and online blue movies are some nuanced musings about why things didn’t work out with previous relationships, and whether or not labels, however inclusive, are all that helpful, given that gay or bisexual people (for instance) could have any kind of personality and any range of personal interests. The coming out mantra of a previous generation, “I am what I am,” is placed under discerning scrutiny – if you are what you are, is there no room for growth, change and improvement? There’s plenty of food for thought in this equally amusing and absorbing production.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

I once outed my friend’s brother as bisexual. It was an accident, I swear.

So you’ve found me is a play about being out and – almost – proud in the 21st century. From awkward tinder matchups to bad relationships, to the very books that saved his life. This is Nemo’s reluctant journey to find his letter in LGBTQ+.

A bittersweet look at what it means to come out as part of the internet generation.

SHOW INFORMATION:
WRITTEN BY: Sam Moore
DIRECTED BY: Noah Alfred Pantano

OTHER CREATIVES:
Becca Rowson (Producer) Sam Went (Artistic Director)Sam Moore (Playwright), Maisie Aveston (Assistant Producer) Katy Lawrence (Assistant Producer) Emily Cunningham(Producer) Noah Alfred Pantano (Director) Luis Donegan-Brown (Actor) Emma Drostby (Stage Manager) Molly Nice (Assistant Stage Manager)

RUNNING TIME: 60 Mins (No Interval)
https://www.thelionandunicorntheatre.com/

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