Fringe Review: The Chemsex Monologues

Hot on the heels of a run of sold-out seasons in London and Manchester, The Chemsex Monologues is a confronting theatre piece that raises important dialogue about gay issues.

A narrator, a sexual health worker, a fag-hag and a young nameless gay man take to the stage in turns to deliver hard-hitting monologues about drugs, sex, partying and death. The show weaves a rich tapestry of authentic human connection and experience, allowing viewers to easily identify aspects of themselves and loved ones in the stories shared. The script is masterfully crafted, and despite a shaky start (although it was opening night in Adelaide — completely understandable), delivered with raw passion and charisma by each of the four actors.

A highlight of the work was Richard Unwin’s portrayal of Daniel, an awkward and sympathetic sexual health worker who takes a young HIV-positive drug addict under his wing, who seemed most at home on the stage. It is Daniel who poses the question that summarises the piece: why is this happening to our young gay men? The audience is left to ponder this and wonder what can be done about it.

Witty, hilarious, and at times heartbreaking, The Chemsex Monologues is an extremely relevant and significant insight into the struggles that gay men may endure in their lifetimes. If you're looking for a show that is thought-provoking as it is engaging, this is the one.

The Chemsex Monologues will continue to show at the German Club each night except Monday until March 19. Tickets via FringeTix