‘Every relationship needs a man’ is a belief prevalent in our society from its very beginning. But if we try and actually follow this archaic, short-sighted narrative, what happens when you put two men in one room at the same time? Tom Froy’s ‘HOMMO’ at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre takes a closer look at the link between masculinity and sexuality. ‘HOMMO' tackles the issue of dominance and submissiveness in relationships and tries to explore further how the word ‘gay’ is easily taken out of its context and given a new meaning - ‘less than a real man.’
The play follows two men, played by Erik Alstad and Sam Ebner-Landy, as they fight for dominance in their male-male relationship. While preparing to kill one woman and seduce another, they continuously try to establish their masculinity and prove that they both are ‘real men’. Whilst grappling with two different types of interactions with women, they begin to realise the erotic dynamic of their own relationship.
Hommo deals with a very difficult and complex subject, but thankfully manages to maintain a balance between seriousness and humour, with the latter moving the story forward. Tom Froy’s play serves as an example to my personal opinion that, more often than not, it is nice to leave behind the glitz and glamour of West End and look for little gems in small, independent theatres in London. If we judge the off the beaten track theatre scene through the quality of plays, the Lion and Unicorn is definitely a good start. The 45 minutes spent in the black, dim room, filled with testosterone (and also plastic guns and durex condoms), has you laughing, but also leaves you thinking about the nature of today’s relationships and the presence of hyper-masculinity in our own lives.
This article was first published in SEE:ONE, The Courtauldian’s printed publication. You can find the full first issue of SEE here: https://issuu.com/thecourtauldian.