Ponyboy Curtis is a hot mess of a show in the hottest, messiest way.*
It is like a cross between les ballet C de la B’s Tauberbach, a boyband full of sexual tension, a really good night out and a protest.
Tauberbach, not only because of the clothes that are littering the whole place, but because of the movement, the flow and the way in which Ponyboy Curtis actually manages to portray sex, intimacy and lust in a not-awkward, believable, exciting way.
A boyband because there are beats and boys. And I bet there are a lot of massages once a tour bus gets rolling.
A good night out because there are beats and boys, and a dizzying amount of lights and effects that make your blood pump and your feet move and it feel like you’ve downed a few shots of absinthe and your feeling free tonight. None of the shame and sadness that comes with a shit night out. Tonight you actually feel like you can dance.
And a protest because it’s about claiming back power.
Or it’s a bit like paintball.
Like paintball because you’re all friends here and it’s all fun. You get dressed up, run around, get dizzy, get confused, get covered in colours. It’s a team game and it’s about support, and so is Ponyboy. They are in this together. But at the core it is still something violent.
It is still pulling a trigger.
When Emma Frankland came onstage there’s a gear shift and it suddenly feels like we are watching a sermon. We’re hearing from someone on the inside, who has been there and done it and called out the bullshit. Her words are beautiful and damning – and yet, in the postcard to her small son, hopeful.
There are slides in the middle. These slides and the words typed on them change the meaning of everything. Without them, this wouldn’t be the same show. It wouldn’t mean the same thing.
There’s also a bit where they have torches and run around in a circle, and I just wanted to mention it because visually it’s one of my favourite things on stage I’ve seen.
The Ponyboys need to come back. This feels like the beginning but there’s a whole battle left to fight.
And if anyone wants to start a women’s equivalent so we can get in one some of this sexy, power-claiming action let me know. I’m throwing Ladyhawke out there as a name suggestion. Then in like 10 years time we can pull a McBusted and Ladyhawke and Ponyboy Curtis can go on tour together. It’ll be one sexy tour bus ride.
*Please note I have written this from the perspective of someone who is comfortable with their sexuality
The Yard Theatre