Pink Sky Theatre is a new theatre company of LGBTQIA+ artists taking an ‘interdisciplinary approach to making queer theatre’. It’s headed up by artistic director Sophie Leydon, who wrote and directed this debut play.
Rapture, at The Pleasance, is an explosion of colour; a brilliant piece that encapsulates queer relationships in London. A detailed mosaic is pieced together with beautiful movement, neon lights, projection and use of minimal set and space. But it’s not merely a visually striking piece: a compelling narrative charges through the play, propelled by spoken word performance and powerful dialogue.
Rapture interrogates the turbulence of friendship and sexual relationships in ‘Queer London’ and how intersectionality plays into them. The show follows three characters: Kit, Tommy and Rosy. They live together and are in various (mainly non-monogamous) relationships, which act as a microcosm as they represent a whole city of people. Somehow Rapture creates a comprehensive exploration of queerness via these three characters.
The writing is delivered at a fast pace but it’s still very clear; satisfying in its unpredictability and moving in its use of, at times, a more poetic style. Leydon tells multiple stories in the lives of our three characters, which intertwine and interrupt each other to an engaging and hilarious end. The piece is very funny as an honest depiction of humanity. It’s new writing and you can tell it’s new: it is fresh and exhilarating.
The performers are comfortable and have a great sense of connection with each other. Sam Crerar’s Kit is played boldly as a full, multi-faceted person. Bryan Moriarty’s Tommy is gorgeously teetering on the edge, and Rosy, played by Izzy Neish, is endearing and at times tragic, but still completely 3D and believable. The performers are committed to creating all the places they find themselves in, physically and emotionally, so their imagination and sensitivity to each other transports the audience.
Verity Johnson’s design is clear and really aids the performance, especially in artistically indicating different spaces. Ros Chase’s lighting design (like all elements of the piece) is bold, bright and colourful. There is always a sense of expression: the colours of nightlife underscore the design, such that even in sombre moments there is a flicker of the feeling of a party. Sound design by Ellie Isherwood is crucial to the piece. A microphone is used throughout, and it acts as a bridge, further connecting the characters to audience members.
Rapture is a sexy, joyful yet painful piece of theatre. This is a fresh and exciting debut script, made all the stronger by an outstanding production, which sets a benchmark for live performance.
Written and directed by Sophie Leydon
Set and Costume Design by Verity Johnson
Lighting Design by Ros Chase
Sound Design by Ellie Isherwood
Rapture plays at Pleasance Theatre until 17 July 2022. Further information and bookings can be found here.