THEATRE REVIEW: Teddy Ferrara starring Ryan McParland & Luke Newberry

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE: Donmar Warehouse

WHEN: 5/10, press night 7/10 runs to 5/12

Gay suicides in US universities are a sensitive subject and one that receives no easy answers or solutions despite a great deal of exploration from all angles here.

The titular Teddy Ferrara (played most convincingly by Ryan McParland) is a computer programmer freshman more comfortable online than in real world situations who finds himself the subject of his roommate’s webcam broadcast on social media as he entertains a same-sex partner. It’s a real-life scenario which made headlines recently.

Elsewhere the university hierarchy is inviting representatives of the campus LGBTQ community to a meeting to hear their fears as it expects the university newspaper to out a student who committed suicide because of his hidden sexuality.

Gabe (the ever reliable Luke Newberry, who starred in Cucumber and Banana this year) is present at those meetings and has an eye on a future in a politics while also romancing the university’s newspaper editor. This UK premiere of Christopher Shinn’s play at times feels contrived and soapy but at least presents us with conflicting arguments in a complex world.

It’s difficult to root for any particular character other than Christopher Imbrosciano’s Jay who tugs at the heartstrings with his unrequited love for one of the main characters.

Ultimately we wanted a great deal more from Teddy Ferrara than we felt it gave us in return but it seemed its heart was in the right place and this was a thorny topic that needed an airing.

  • The best seats in the Donmar go on sale here at 10am each Monday at least a fortnight before the show. Follow the Donmar on Twitter @DonmarWarehouse for updates.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow author Neil Durham on Twitter @NeilDurham

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