Two American men, Jeremy (Douglas Booth) and Teddy (Clifford Samuel), meet in a hotel in Amsterdam and bond over reconciling with the past and the pain they have caused, as well as past love and mutual attraction. They slowly reveal to each other their histories, and flashbacks of each come reeling forward with a palpable urgency.
The relationships in the flashbacks are more grounded than the one between Jeremy and Teddy. Urban gives little space in the script to adequately develop their dynamic, and focuses instead on their re-tellings. Both Samuel and Booth give impassioned performances, with Samuel being particularly charming, but they are slightly let down by shaky American accents and stumbling over lines.
Urban’s script is at its best when it shifts worlds, and director Jonathan O’Boyle orchestrates slick and effective transitions. Jeremy’s experiences in Uganda provide most of the impact while Teddy’s tumultuous trip to Amsterdam with his best friend is rather underdeveloped.
Most interestingly, Urban probes into America’s role in the rise of anti-gay violence in Uganda. Although Ken Urban’s A Guide for the Homesick takes place in 2011, right in the middle of the Obama era, there’s an ominous and prescient skepticism of liberal optimism that feels particularly poignant in the current political climate.
|What||A Guide for the Homesick, Trafalgar Studios 2 review|
|Where||Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Charing Cross (underground)|
16 Oct 18 – 24 Nov 18, 7:45 PM – 9:05 PM
|Price||£25 - £35|
|Website||Click here to book now|