Saturday, February 28, 2015

Blue Wizard

Blue Wizard runs at Belvoir from 19 February – 15 March 2015. By Nick Coyle.

I first saw and wrote about Nick Coyle’s Blue Wizard at PACT in 2013, when it was part of the Tiny Stadiums festival. My friend Hannah and I was utterly entranced by it. We were thrilled when we heard it was coming back to play at Belvoir, and we took the opportunity to drag a whole bunch of friends along with us this time so that they too could understand its fabulousness.

Blue Wizard is such a special piece of theatre. It’s ridiculous and sublime and silly and touching and spectacular all by turns. The Blue Wizard (Coyle) has come to earth on a special mission from his home – a crystal planet where everyone’s gay – but when his dance of erotic greeting isn’t exactly received the way he’d hoped and he realises that he can’t contact home (in particular, he can’t contact his beloved boyfriend, John Quark Jon), things take a darker turn. Alone except for a truly creepy wizard baby that he christens Meryl Streep, the Blue Wizard must work out how to survive in an unfriendly and lonely world.

The story of a fabulously sparkly gay wizard isolated in a world that does not welcome him is not a particularly subtle allegory, but there’s no reason for it to be. What I remember most from the last time I saw this show is how funny it was, but what struck me this time was just how sad it was as well. That’s something that’s clearly been built on in development, because the underlying level of pathos in this version of Blue Wizard is much more poignant. The Blue Wizard is fabulous and funny, but he’s also horribly lonely. He tries to do the best he can and to parent Meryl Streep insofar as he is capable (parenting is not something that Blue Wizards – the wizards of flirting, fucking and dancing – are usually that good at), but he misses his home, and he misses his life, and he misses his boyfriend, and he misses belonging.

It’s a really wonderful piece of queer theatre and it’s perfect for Mardi Gras. I’m so, so glad I got to see it again, and that I could make more people experience it too. It also clearly contains the best use of Britney Spears’ song Perfume in the history of theatre, ever. It has a truly startling and moving ending (which is still a shock even when you know it’s coming), and the end sequence with the treadmill is hair-standing-up-ingly spectacular. I was worried that it wouldn’t be as magical the second time around, but I was wrong – the Blue Wizard’s spell is even more powerful this time.

(Also, I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to know more about the Pink Wizards of Love and Passive Aggression. I would watch a show that was just about them doing day to day tasks and living their crystal planet lives.)

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