Alexi Kaye Campbell's The Pride, currently showing at the Crucible Studio, Sheffield, tells the stories of Oliver, Philip and Sylvia, dealing with issues of sexuality, identity, love, madness and desire in both 1958 and 2008.
Directed by Richard Wilson and starring Daniel Evans, Jamie Sives and Claire Price in the leading roles, with brilliant support from Jay Simpson playing three supporting characters, the play skilfully moves between drama and comedy throughout. The intimate setting of the Studio is perfect for experiencing the highs and terrible lows of the three key characters, and the set design makes very clever use of a small number of props and pieces of furniture, along with an effective computer-designed changing backdrop. The costumes, particularly those worn by Sylvia, are beautiful throughout.
If I had one minor quibble it would be that the 1958 scenes are rather static and slow in the first act - this may well be in order to strengthen the contrast between them and the exuberant 2008 scenes, but there is perhaps a little too much sitting down and talking - and given all four actors have an excellent physicality, it seems a shame to leave them without movement for so long. That aside, this is a well-acted and directed play that looks stunning and engages an audience very effectively. Be warned - the language throughout is very explicit and so it's not for the easily shocked!
The Pride plays Crucible Studio Sheffield until Saturday 16 July.