Review: A Mirror, Almeida Theatre - a play that continually surprises
Review: As We Face The Sun, Bush Theatre - energic, fun and tinged with the bittersweet

Review: Dumbledore Is So Gay, Southwark Playhouse

Charlottte Dowding  Alex Britt  Martin Sarreal - Credit to David Jenson
Charlotte Dowding, Alex Britt & Martin Sarreal in Dumbledore Is So Gay, Southwark Playhouse Aug 2023. Photo: David Jenson

Fans of Harry Potter will no doubt enjoy the references to the Wizarding World, but Robert Holtom's play Dumbledore Is So Gay is, in essence, a gay coming-of-age story.

It starts when Jack (Alex Britt) is 12 and joins in with his friends' homophobic name-calling out of fear of being on the receiving end. Meanwhile, his dad (Martin Sarreal) insists the TV is turned over when Graham Norton comes on because of his sexuality.

Jack's relationship with his parents and best friends Sally (Charlotte Dowding) and Ollie (also Sarreal), on whom he has a crush, plays out through his teen years, culminating in a devastating event.

But what if, like Hermione, you could use a time-turner and go back and change certain events in your life, make different decisions based on hindsight and experience? Would the outcome be different?

In mixing in the movie references, you can't help but draw parallels between film fiction and Jack's 'real life'. Dumbledore, as Jack tells us, is the only gay character in the series, but JK Rowling kills him off.

Jack initially tries to 'kill off' any idea that he is gay by going along with his friends and getting a girlfriend.

Is Holtom also showing that life isn't like the movies? Or that happy endings can be bittersweet, just like in Harry Potter?

Dumbledore Is So Gay doesn't necessarily have anything new to say about growing up gay, although it does highlight prejudice and sometimes dubious levels of consent within the gay community.

It is more playful and energetic than dark and serious, with agile performances from the cast of three.

I'm giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

Dumbledore Is So Gay, Southwark Playhouse

Written by Robert Holtom

Directed by Tom Wright

Cast: Alex Britt, Charlotte Dowding & Martin Sarreal

Running time: 70 minutes without an interval

Booking until 23 September; for more information and to buy tickets visit the Southwark Playhouse website

Recently reviewed

A Mirror, Almeida Theatre booking until 23 September

The Effect, National Theatre ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ booking until Oct 7

Word-Play, Royal Court Theatre ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ booking until 26 August

Wonder Drug: A Comedy About Cystic Fibrosis, Omnibus Theatre (Edinburgh Fringe preview) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and a half

Accidental Death of Anarchist, Theatre Royal Haymarket ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ booking until 9 September

Dear England, National Theatre ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and a half; now booking for a run at Prince Edward Theatre from 9 Oct to 13 Jan  2024

The Crucible, Gielgud Theatre ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ booking until 1 September