31st Jan to 19th Feb, 2023
After a bad break-up from a 6-year relationship, a 32-year-old, plus sized, gay primary school teacher finds he must sublet his flat to a buff Instagram model. A funny yet poignant solo-performed play (centring the type of gay character who is usually left out of the story) BUFF explores body image pressures, jealousy, and the journey to self-acceptance through the world of online-dating and social media.
Review by Richard Lambert, 4 Stars
BUFF is brilliantly written, directed and cast. What a play! Resonating with everyone who has ever had unrequited love and adoration for another and the mistaken behaviour this can cause.
Juggling a daytime job teaching children who are bluntly honest with a home-life that just rubs his nose in his insecurities is a lot. And nobody’s perfect.
David O’Reilly is an incredible actor who portrays the character to perfection! The play is mostly funny, but of course, only until it isn’t, and your heart and emotions are kicked around. It strikes a chord and is a wonderful piece of theatre.
The lighting rig is extensive in the Vaults “Crescent” and there is a Haze machine. I like to see at least some nod towards a lighting design, rather than just “illumination” and, call me old fashioned but, once the show starts I prefer the house lights to go off and stay off. This is another show at the Vaults where the programming of the lights is very questionable. The kit is so much better than some of the smaller spaces at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, however the lack of technical know-how is disappointing. A friend once said to me “you have to allow them space to learn” and I reminded myself of this during the show.
Scott Le Crass and Ben Fensome
Director: SCOTT LE CRASS
Scott is a queer, working class director from Birmingham. Credits include the sold out revival production of Rose by Martin Sherman starring Maureen Lipman at Park Theatre and Hope Mill Theatre and the the award winning digital revival of Rose. Other credits include the award winning revival production of Country Music by Simon Stephens at Omnibus and the UK tour of the ★★★★★ play Sid by Leon Fleming.
Playwright: BEN FENSOME
Ben is an actor and playwright whose short plays have been performed and rehearsed read at venues such as the Bush, Park, and Ovalhouse theatres. His work has been longlisted for the Bruntwood and Papatango prizes including his most recent play “In One Short Moment”. He was also a finalist as a musical book writer in the Perfect Pitch Award, judged by Michael Ball, David Baddiel and Roy Williams.
Cast: DAVID O’REILLY
David graduated with the prestigious ‘Stephen Mear Award’. Shortly after graduation he made his West Debut in ‘Grease’ at Piccadilly Theatre, before heading onto a UK tour of the show.
Since, David has played Cecil Graham in the West End Cast of ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan’ directed by Kathy Burke before joining ‘The Catherine Tate Show – Live Aus and NZ Tour’.
Other theatre credits include original cast member of ‘The Book of Mormon’ at Prince of Wales Theatre and the Richard Bean hit ‘One man, Two Guvnors’. David made his Dame debut in ‘Dick Whittington’ opposite Shane Richie.
More recently, David appeared in the West End cast of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie as Laika Virgin before heading on tour to LA to play at the Ahmanson theatre.
David’s screen credits include; BBC’s ‘Nova Jones’, Netflix’s ‘Christmas on Mistletoe Farm’ FX/Hulu hit series ‘Better Things’, ITV’s ‘Benidorm’ and BBC’s Daytime soap ‘Doctors’.