Out of the Lens

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review (theatre): Out of the Lens at Sweet Grassmarket (Venue 18). Review by Sally Stott

Glorious, camp fun, this two-man – and a pianist – musical knows exactly what it is, and it isn’t afraid to shout it (tunefully, of course) from the rooftops.

Joe is a photographer, Ryan is his muse. Joe is straight, Ryan is gay and up for “a challenge”. As a man who thinks nothing of flouncing about in a string vest all day, he gets his way – but then Joe has second thoughts.

Warmly performed by Guy Woolf and Andrew Walker, a story that initially feels like the predictable stuff of gay musical theatre fantasy, complete with catchy chords where you’d expect, evolves into a celebration of friendship that is surprising, believable and satisfying. With the phrase “out of the lens” a metaphor for both coming out and being yourself, it is sunny stuff with a lot of heart and humour.

Writer David Kingsmill and musical director Nicholas Chave’s decision to stage an unabashed piece of razzamatazz with a pocket-sized cast is also impressive – a triumph of ambition and ingenuity over the practicalities of a small space, something companies in the less mainstream venues do so well.

Until 24 August. Today 4pm.

Originally published in The Scotsman

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