CIRCA, 4 Stars

Old Red Lion
5th to 30th March 2019

“Most people get to be happy with one person. I don’t see why I should have it any different.
Circa explores the blurred identity of the gay relationship in the modern age. Following the story of one man’s romantic life, we are taken through the different relationships and encounters he experiences over a period of thirty years. Joining him through the joys and pitfalls of trying to find love and fulfilment as a gay man.
The twenty-first century. Being gay is supposedly more integrated than ever. Marriage is legal, parenthood is possible and #LoveWins is trending on twitter. The time has arrived to settle down with the man you love for a life of lasting companionship. But in a world where sex is readily available, and with a history of sexual freedom; what does it mean to be in a gay relationship in the modern age? And why are so many gay men still lonely?”

Review by Richard Lambert, 4 Stars

Tom Ratcliffe’s play explores one man’s journey through life. As a gay man wanting to live in the same manner as his perceived heter-normative men with their family commitments and children he’s frustrated by the less-committed gay lifestyle he encounters.

Seeking an alternative to the gay lifestyle he tries to gain satisfaction with his girlfriend but this isn’t his true nature. He instead finds acceptance from a male escort who used to do drag. Dressing the escort in his girlfriend’s kimono doesn’t work for him but wise words exchanged are beneficial to his struggles.

An interesting story and perspective however it does come across as a little preachy and stereotypical.

The Set Design (Luke W Robson) is phenomenally good! With the Set Designer also being the Lighting Designer there are multiple facets of the Set and many lighting angles chosen that really work well to blend and show it off. The Set Construction quality is also great but no credit given in the information sent over.

The 1st half of the play had several interesting scenes and some that were not so well paced. Scene changes felt a little clumsy with one character standing downstage centre while props and costumes moved around behind. Once would have been enough but this technique was over-used.

Despite a 13+ age guidance there is little to shock in this well acted piece.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening.

(Photo Credit: Lidia Crisafulli)

Further Information

CAST: Thomas Flynn (Twelfth Night, The Rose Playhouse) and Daniel Abelson (Once In a Lifetime, Young Vic) will lead the cast in Tom Ratcliffe’s debut play, Circa. Also joining the cast are Antony Gabriel (Amadeus, Old Vic), Joseph Rowe (Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, National Theatre) and Jenna Fincken (People, Places and Things, Oxford Playhouse).

Performance Dates Tuesday 5th – Saturday 30th March 2019
Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm
Saturday and Sunday matinee, 3pm
Running time 2 hours including interval

Age Recommendation 13+

Location Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 John Street, London EC1V 4NJ
How to get there The nearest underground station is Angel (on the Bank branch of the Northern Line). The nearest rail station is Kings Cross St Pancras.

Box Office Tickets are available priced from £12
Call 0333 012 4963 or book online at:

Twitter @__Circa, @workTheatre, @tomratcliffe15, @ORLtheatre, #CircaORL

Writer Tom Ratcliffe
Director Andrew Twyman
Designer Luke W Robson
Sound Ted White