Black Faggot

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review (theatre): Black Faggot at Assembly Roxy (venue 139). Review by Billy Barrett

Alternately touching and hilarious, Black Faggot is a series of sketches exploring the intersections of sexuality, race and religion. Fasitua Amosa and Beulah Koale play a host of different characters, drawing on the experience of being “young, brown and gay”.

Slipping between semen splatters and more serious matters, the double act gets the balance of humour and emotional insight almost bang on. The energy is relentless, and under Roy Ward’s deft direction each vignette flows into the next with physical dexterity and cracking comic timing.

The performers have a chameleonic ability to switch roles, and much of the humour comes from the contrasts: one minute they’ll play an “under-cover brother”, the next a camp queen and then a terrified Christian mother. The characters’ stories advance thoughtfully each time we return to their sketch; there’s more than just gags going on here.

As a call for tolerance (and crucially, a critique of the whiteness of western gay culture), Black Faggot’s crude comedy and sharp observation is passionately effective. But the show loses its power slightly when it occasionally slips into public service announcement – the “it gets better” slogan may be a little too earnest for some tastes.

Until 25 August. Today 5:30pm, more info

Originally published in The Scotsman

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