‘Sink’ at the Space Theatre: a “wonky” coming of age play by Tobias Graham

Alexander Hackett as Caleb, Charlie Wright as Benny, Dominic Holmes as Crispin, Sink by Tobias Graham at The Space. Ph: Vogue Giambri & Connor Moody

8.5/10-Francesco Ferranti

A house party, a sink surrounded by empty plastic cups and bottles, a group of friends who are somehow floating in their life, a letting go of emotions, ranging from rage, happiness to nostalgia: these elements are deeply embedded in most of our personal stories, making ‘Sink’ a genuine representation of the dysfunctional times we live in.

Sink, part of the Foreword Festival at The Space Theatre, is the debut play of Tobias Graham, envisioned with director Patrick Bone. The script is an authentic, “wonky” coming of age story which does not rely on stereotypes, stimulating a meditation on societal pressures and gender identity.

“Sink holds a special in my heart because it reminds me of those nights where you still slightly too young to feel like a proper adult, but old enough to feel like everything was overly monumental; those hazy house party nights where you’d kiss the person you had a crush on and confront the dickhead that upset you”, says playwright Tobias Graham.

Dominic Holmes as Crispin, Charlie Wright as Benny, Sink by Tobias Graham at The Space. Ph: Vogue Giambri & Connor Moody

The plot revolves primarily around the character of Crispin, a fierce femme-presenting guy who is attracted to straight guys and loves dressing up in flamboyant costumes (superbly portrayed by Dominic Holmes). During the play, we follow the complicated and multi-layered relationship between Crispin and his housemate Benny (Charlie Wright), facing endless doubts on his emotions and identity.

The situation has a dramatic shift when Benny starts flirting with housemate Lissie (Gloria Akinfe), and Crispin ends up showing his interest in Amy’s (Alice Lucy) boyfriend Caleb (Alexander Hackett).

All the characters seem to be people you definitely have crossed paths with before, at least once in your life: the plot illuminates the fragility and the strength of contemporary youth without indulging in any romanticisation.

Alice Lucy as Amy, Gloria Akinfe as Lissie. Sink by Tobias Graham at The Space.
Ph:
Vogue Giambri & Connor Moody

Highlighting the often problematic relationship between gay guys and straight guys was to me an important decision: it resonates with the idea that it is hard, as queer or gay men, to navigate in a world where the default model of masculinity is still the straight, ripped guy, perfectly represented by the character of Caleb.

A special mention to the costume design, perfectly in line with each character, from the policeman (Caleb), to the shiny mermaid (Crispin), to the Ariana Grande-inspired outfit (Amy) and to the “muffled” playlist, which embodied a sense of nostalgia and aimed at conveying to the entire play a non-linear and queer temporal dimension.

Cast:

Amy- Alice Lucy

Benny- Charlie Wright

Caleb- Alexander Hackett

Crispin- Dominic Holmes

Lissie- Gloria Akinfe

Rocky- Billy Ashworth

Head to kickstarter.com and search Foreword Festival to make your donation and support the work of emerging playwrights

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