The Pride Review

The Pride

Why do we do it?

From blind dates, through online and speed dating to that retro staple the English favour of getting trolled with the people you work with before going home with the nicest shaped human you can find who’s still standing.

Of course, there are some folk who simply ask a girl or boy out when they meet one they like the look of.

But these guys ain’t English.

The things we put ourselves through so we can find someone to love can seem madly impossible.

And for someone like Oliver, it’s not even as straight forward as this.

In the not so distant past, or even modern day Russia, being true to your self and own heart’s desires wasn’t an option for a guy like Oliver.

It just wasn’t the done thing to do.

So when Ollie meets someone like him, that special soul who seems able to make him feel every little thing there is to feel in this life, what’s a boy to do?

Maybe it all depends on the era and culture you’re born into.

Fast forward to the present day, and we find the 2.0 version of Oliver still struggling with his love life.

That, and convincing a fully paid up member of the Nazi party to leave having invited him over for a spot of fantasy goose stepping.

Admittedly, these struggles are nothing compared to his former life’s woes; especially as they’re all so terribly self-inflicted.

But perhaps the root of Oliver’s issues lie in the ghosts from his previous incarnation.

Now I had very little idea about The Pride before watching playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell’s award winning play at the revitalised Trafalgar Studios.

But boy does Campbell have plenty to be proud about.

The Pride is a love story, which won’t turn out to be a great surprise to anyone familiar with the arts.

After all, what’s more inspiring than writing about love?

Naturally though, Campbell’s play is a little less straight forward than this.

In essence, The Pride explores the changing attitudes to homosexuality in our religiously retarded modern culture and, though that would be enough on its own, Campbell has made sure his play is so much more than this too.

I guess the idea of love is very subjective, and everyone has their own take on this.

For me, The Pride captures all those impossible little things you feel if you’re god damned lucky enough to meet someone who just gets you in a way you simply can’t fathom.

It doesn’t make any sense, and yet once you find this indescribable thing it’s the only thing in this life that does.

Through his insightful and razor sharp script, vividly brought to life by the four strong cast of Hayley Atwell, Matthew Horne, Harry Hadden-Patton and Al Weaver, Campbell manages to capture and communicate these feelings in a way that’s universal to anyone who’s open to the idea of love.

And that feeling is realising maybe we’re not as alone in our life as we sometimes feel like.

That’s the reason for most every little thing we do with whatever time we’re given anyway, to find someone we can genuinely connect with in the purest sense.

That’s why we feel so proud when we meet someone who makes us feel like this.

And that’s why Alexi Kaye Campbell can take great pride in bringing this idea to life.

Jonathan Campbell

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August 2013
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