The Multiverse is Gay

Apr 13 2023 | By More

★★★★☆   Weirdly wonderful

Lyceum Rehearsal Studio: Tue 11 – Sat 15 April 2023
Review by Allan Wilson

The Multiverse is Gay, at the Lyceum Rehearsal Studio until Saturday, is written for the Lyceum Young Company with great imagination by Lewis Hetherington and directed with flair by Sophie Howell.

This is a playful exploration of the different realities experienced by a teenager, sucked into a weirdly wonderful Multiverse populated by over six hundred alternate versions of their life, as lived in parallel, but slightly different universes.

A scene from The Multiverse is Gay. Pic Mihaela Bodlovich

A group of teenage friends gather together to celebrate the end of the school year, looking for an experience to remember for the rest of their lives. The school prom is due to be held that evening but only Amber has dressed for the occasion.

Orla Bayne portrays Amber as a questioning teenager, full of doubts and uncertainties about their sexuality and direction of life. The others, led by Cameron, played by Max Turner as an outspoken rebel, and Ava Richmond’s Gay Pride activist Robin, decide to boycott it. Instead, they climb over a wall into a private New Town garden looking for an alternative adventure for the evening.

golden beaver

Amber becomes separated and stumbles across the statue of a golden beaver. When they touch it, Amber is immediately transported into the Multiverse, a strange, but alluring world where they are welcomed by Bamber, a colourful, helpful guide played by Angus Bryans.

They are soon joined by Amber 602 and Amber 603. Amber will become Amber 601, as Bamber explains that all new arrivals are given a number until an appropriate new name can be agreed. Annabelle Conroy’s Amber 602 is a typical sullen teenager who feels uncomfortable about life, while Lucy Campbell portrays Amber 603 as the jolly, enthusiastic girl that is a staple of almost every teen movie.

The Ambers. A scene from The Multiverse is Gay. Pic Mihaela Bodlovich

As they move through the Multiverse they meet more residents. Ryan Simpson’s Glamber, is a deliciously over the top drag queen, who acts as MC for the Cabaret at the End of the Universe. Chilly, played by a reassuring Cee Reville, is the resident historian who collects stories and memories from new arrivals about their universe of origin. Eventually, they meet the very first Amber, known as The Amberate in a quietly sinister performance by Lewis James.

Back in the New Town garden, Amber’s friends suspect that their disappearance is connected to the golden beaver. Jessica, played with nuance by Sophie Kayembe, deeply misses Amber and gradually realises that they are in love. Benny, portrayed by Odhran Thomson is the calm voice of reason among the friends, while Nora (El) Rose Trew-Rae’s Caz and Tristan Saunders’ Daz are distracted by problems with setting up a new business.

joy and colour

The Multiverse is a place full of joy and colour, where people can find and express themselves, unlike the worlds many of the Ambers have previously experienced. Most are happy to find themselves in the Multiverse and hope they will be able to build better lives within it, but Amber 601 questions this new reality, challenges The Amberate and eventually finds a way home through love.

Ryan Simpson in The Multiverse is Gay. Pic Mihaela Bodlovich.

The creative team behind the production help to emphasise that the Multiverse is a place of joy and colour, particularly through the vivid costumes and set designed by Christine Ting Huan Urquhart. Laura Hawkins’ excellent lighting and Novasound’s sound design came together particularly well to represent travel between different realities and in the Cabaret at the End of the World.

The Multiverse is Gay is a very enjoyable and imaginative production, played with enthusiasm, intelligence and no little talent by a young cast who work very well together as an ensemble and individually.

Running time: 1 hours and 20 minutes (without interval)
Lyceum Rehearsal Studio, Grindlay Street,
Tue 11 – Sat 15 April 2023 (Lyceum Studio)
Tue/Wed, Fri/Sat: 7pm, Thurs: 6.30pm; Sat Mat 2pm.
Tickets and dertails: Book here.

A scene from The Multiverse is Gay. Pic Mihaela Bodlovich


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