Tommy on Top
by Chris Woodley
dir Bryan Hodgson
with Alex Hulme, Lucas Livesey, Chris Lane, Megan Armstrong, Bridgett Amofah, Becky Sanneh
Above the Stag Theatre, Vauxhall • 28.Jul-29.Aug.21
The mayhem centres around Tommy (Hulme), an actor nominated for an Oscar for his lead role in the independent film Splash Mountain. In his Hollywood hotel room, he's preparing for the onslaught of red carpet media attention while also planning something special for the birthday of his stylist boyfriend George (Livesey). Then his hard-partying sister Molly (Armstrong) arrives, as does Tommy's attention-seeking agent Eddie (Lane), who wants him to remain closeted for the sake of both the Oscars and his future career. So Tommy decides to court high-profile agent Judy (Amofah) instead. But gossip blogger Kiki (Sanneh) is digging into rumours that Tommy might not be as straight as he claims to be.
|Armstrong and Amofah|
At the centre, Hulme's Tommy is sympathetically hapless, keeping the show grounded with his hangdog expression and on/off costumes. His scenes with Livesey are perfectly pitched to provide soulful romance with a witty bite. And both Amofah and Sanneh add some razor-sharp edges. Another star of the show is the lighting (by Joseph Ed Thomas) and sound (by Paul Gavin), cleverly deployed by director Hodgson to inventively punch the comedy to even higher levels.