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GuyMart | Waterloo East Theatre

GuyMart by Tough Nut Theatre makes its triumphant return to the Waterloo East Theatre after a successful debut at the King's Head Theatre in London earlier this summer. Written and directed by George Lacey, with music composed by Richard Seaman, this one-hour production presents a humorous yet thought-provoking look into a not-so-distant future where men shop for their romantic partners in a futuristic supermarket. In a world where dating apps are obsolete, GuyMart explores the quest for love, self-worth, and the pursuit of authenticity.

The story revolves around Matt, portrayed with great depth and emotion by Daniel Walford, who takes the brave step of offering himself as an inventory item in his quest to find 'the one'. His journey is filled with a series of disastrous and damaging dates that leave him on the verge of despair. However, when he encounters a new customer, Joe, played by the sensitive Viktor Andonov, their connection is instant and electric. Matt and Joe's whirlwind romance is beautifully depicted through a series of dates, culminating in a heart-warming proposal. Yet, the rush of emotions awakens traumatic flashbacks to Matt's previous, less consensual encounters with other customers. The question of self-worth becomes central, as Matt grapples with whether he is deserving of Joe's love, despite Joe's unwavering acceptance of him.

GuyMart is a production that is equal parts tongue-in-cheek and heartfelt. Although it faces some pacing issues and character development flaws, these shortcomings can be attributed to the constraints of its one-hour runtime and are understandable in that context. Sound issues occasionally marred the clarity of the lyrics, but the true strength of the show lies in its writing and music. The lyrics are witty, moving, and unflinchingly raw, while the music is infectious, catchy, and thoroughly entertaining.

The small but talented cast of four, including Daniel Walford, Viktor Andonov, Jack Jacobs (Alfie), and Nick Sedgwick (Freddie), worked cohesively as a tight ensemble, each having their moments to shine. However, special mention must be made of Walford, whose outstanding vocal performance showcased raw emotions and vulnerability, adding depth and authenticity to the character of Matt.

At its core, GuyMart is a message of self-worth and overcoming self-doubt. It is a heartening and timely exploration of themes that resonate with the contemporary audience. In an era when new writing and musicals often centre on personal growth and acceptance, GuyMart offers a highly relevant and moving narrative. This production is a testament to the power of storytelling and the importance of self-acceptance in the pursuit of genuine love. It is a small but punchy gem that deserves a bigger stage and wider recognition.

GuyMart is playing at the Waterloo East Theatre until 12 Nov. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review


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