The newest production by Lane Cove Theatre Company, Holding the Man, is based off the memoir by Timothy Murphy. The story follows Tim (played by Brent Dolahenty), a boy who comes to terms with himself at a very young age. In high school, he falls in love with the football team captain, John (Wayne Buckley).
The story explores the difficulties and challenges of homosexuality during the 80s, amidst the HIV epidemic at its peak. Tim’s journey from his early teens and adulthood give you a peek into the colourful but challenging life of exclusion. The feeling of high school crushes, hiding your love from society, and facing the biggest challenge of love — death.
The cast was committed to their respective characters in implementing the topics of the play. Especially notable is lead actor Brent Dolahenty, with his raw energy and conviction.
The stage’s background is panelled with words on blackboards that are common phrases and words within the play. I was captivated by the songs during the change of scenes and it amped us all for what was next to come. I also enjoyed the many party scenes that tempted me to hop on stage to join them.
I found that the play masterfully executed showing the unknown world of gays to the mainstream. The plot delves into the complexities of sexuality which is still relevant today.
Holding the Man transcends generations and energizes you to live your life to the fullest. Get ready to go on a journey about love, lust — and life.
Kevin Rodrigueza is a 21-year-old Sydney local who enjoys craft beer, theatre and all things culture. Follow his adventures at @kevinr___.