Ensemble Theatre presents "world's first one-man gay rom-com cabaret" for Mardi Gras
Adriano Cappelletta’s new cabaret This Boy’s in Love marks the first time Ensemble Theatre has presented a show for the Mardi Gras Festival, writes Garrett Bithell.
“It’s the world’s first one-man gay rom-com cabaret. I think.”
So says Adriano Cappelletta, who will perform an all-singing, all-daggy-dancing comedy confessional at the Ensemble Theatre later this month as part of the Mardi Gras Festival.
Called This Boy’s in Love, the show is centred on Ado, who is 35 and has never been in love. The urban jungle of Grindr and instant hook-ups are obstacles in his way, until he meets Felix, a human rights lawyer who speaks like Hugh Grant and wears Italian suits.
“I set out to write a show that was personal, which gave something of myself, and I thought, ‘What is unique about my perspective, not only as a theatre-maker but as a human being?’ Cappelletta tells SX. “Okay, I’m gay, I’m 35 and I’ve never been in love. So, I started writing about what it was like to be a gay man looking for love in Sydney, which can sometimes feel a little highly-sexualised without a lot of intimate connections. Then I thought, if I may never fall in love, I should at least write a show where I meet my dream boyfriend and experience it on stage. Pretty messed up, hey?
“I’ve written it from a personal perspective, and the main character is a version of me in a way. I’ve found it hard in Sydney to make intimate connections with other men. I think it’s complex because, yes, we do have a gay culture that can be a bit surface and solely focused on sex, but also it’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable being a gay man and being vulnerable with another man. So, in a way this was me trying to understand why I haven’t fallen in love yet and, rather than lament it, try and make light of the situation and make good art.”
Through comic yet heartfelt songs, physical comedy and candid storytelling, Cappelletta shows the desires of the human heart are universal.
“I wanted to present a gay narrative that was positive and lifted people’s spirits,” he says. “So often, we have gay themed stories that are so fabulously tragic and we don't celebrate our love and lightness. I’ve trained classically as an actor and as a clown in Paris, so my inclination is to be silly and make people laugh. I think there's a stereotype of gay men as promiscuous and unable to commit to a monogamous relationship. However, our community is incredibly diverse and almost every gay man I know, deep down, is looking for a longer lasting intimate connection.
“With the debate about same-sex marriage still raging, I think it’s important for everyone to remember that we all share the same hopes and fears about falling in love and the language of the heart is the same, no matter for whom it beats.”
This Boy’s in Love marks the first time the Ensemble Theatre has presented a show as part of the Mardi Gras Festival in 50 years. “I think it will be an exciting event and I hope everyone can make it over the bridge!” Cappelletta says. “This is a show that will fill your heart with hope and happiness.”
This Boy’s in Love, February 21, 23 & 28, Ensemble Theatre, Kirribilli. Bookings at www.ensemble.com.au