Jack Hoosie and the Leisure Groan
The Leisure Groan is South Yorkshire’s 3rd most hygienic gay Sauna, 1997. Jack Hoosie is its manager and he wants to spend an hour telling you all about it. There is not much more to say about the story than this as there isn’t really a plot. It’s basically a monologue of non-related stories vaguely connected to the sauna. It’s meant to be set against the new digital revolution of the late 90’s that threatened his establishment but this barely gets more than a passing mention.
This could be forgiven had the execution of this been good. While the set up was ripe with opportunity the humour was limited and the jokes that were there were too obvious (“She ended up with a mouthful of Ash, he didn’t seem to mind”). There wasn’t the material to sustain this past a 5-minute sketch show.
Throughout there were random names mentioned and it would have been good to have a thread that linked many of the people and stories mentioned – where did he meet his boyfriend, why did he open the sauna, who were the other people mentioned in the stories? These were the things that can build up a story but it was mostly unrelated throwaway lines.
The character of Jack had been thought through and he was played well by Gareth Edward and you believed in him. But there needed to be a lot more thought given to the direction. The jokes that were there often fell flat, there needed to be a lot more time spent thinking about the best way to deliver these to get the best response. And at times, with a thick Yorkshire accent, it was difficult to follow so it would have been useful to have the speech slowed down at times.
Outside of this the set design was good, looking like, for want of a better description, a cheap and cheerful 80’s boudoir, which worked well in the context of the show and the lighting design was good.
But the show relies on the material. These previews should be used to determine what material worked and then what it should change to make it more cohesive before its transfer to Above The Stag later this month. Tickets available here.
Rating: 2 Star