Visited my very local theatre for the first time last night, to my shame, and if Proud is anything to go by I will certainly be back.
First performed in 2009, John Stanley's play is about 18-year old Lewis (Parry Glasspool), a boxer on the cusp of making the London 2012 Olympic team. But this isn't really about boxing it's about being proud of what you are and learning what is important.
Lewis is gay and is out to his family and friends but can't pluck up the courage to come out to his hard talking trainer, Mac (Charlie Carter), who is an old family friend.
When his mum Rachel (Virginia Byron) invites Mac to the birthday dinner she is throwing for Lewis he gets nervous as he hasn't exactly told his mum that Mac doesn't know. Throw in his boyfriend Tom (Matthew Hebden), Tom's recently jilted lesbian friend Ally (Claire Huskisson) and sarcastic older sister Colleen (Ellen Sussams) and this isn't going to be a relaxed dinner party.
Proud isn't going to win any awards for saying anything particularly new about gay relationships and homophobia but it is great fun and laugh out loud funny. The script crackles with wit with the female characters getting most of the best lines.
It has some nicely observed family moments and rattles along at a good pace. The second half feels a little ragged at times with differing pairs of character coming and going from the garden to escape proceedings to the point where the garden door should have revolved but this is just a minor grumble.
Parry Glasspool is still in training and making his debut but carries the lead well with the rest of the cast providing solid support.
I am going to give Proud 4 stars for being fun and entertaining, it finishes tomorrow so catch it if you can.