Soho Theatre (venue)
25 July 2019 (released)
25 July 2019
Wes played by the very talented Tyrone Huntley is a young modern day gay man obsessed with his ‘Brand’ and his thousands of social media followers who leaves Manhattan for Louisiana. New Orleans, Bourbon Street, home to Jazz and the Mardi Gras.
Wes buys a building, and this building has history, and Wes is sent back to 1973 with hilarious results and heart-warming and sometimes heart-breaking moments.
Like all good stories, he meets friends and enemies on his journey. What does a millennial influencer have in common with a chid like rent boy played beautifully by Andy Mientus? (1973 was pre AIDS and post Stonewall) Bigotry, by people who hide behind their religion as an excuse for blatant prejudice.
The Admiral Duncan London, Pulse in Orlando, and even today a group of teenagers have been charged with an attack on a lesbian couple on a bus in May. It still goes on. We may have gay marriage and a Pride event attended by thousands, but will still have homophobia and the view upstairs brings that home in a very powerful way.
The view upstairs, is not doom and gloom, but really good fun, all of the cast are great, Cedric Neal (Willie) has great comic timing as the old queen in the bar. John Partridge morphs physically into Buddy, a man leading a double life, but to single out cast members that have obviously gelled in rehearsals is a bit unfair as each one shines when they take centre stage.
The view upstairs is like Rent, Cabaret and episode of friends set in bar where everyone knows your name.
It’s just simply heart breaking and hilarious, but 1 hour 45 with no interval on a hot summers night with no air conditioning was far too long. A ten-minute break to get some air in the place would have been just right.
I’d recommend the view upstairs it’s as good as Cabaret and better than Rent, don’t miss it.
Just take a bottle of cold water and a fan!