Willie and Sebastian

Directed by Sam Kane this comedy drama about flamboyant dandy Sebastian Horsley and the equally flamboyant Willie Donaldson has something of the panto feel about it; only with a hell of a lot more swearing. As both Grant Stott and Andy Gray are stalwarts of that scene and the script is by Rab C. Nesbitt creator Ian Pattison this can be seen as something of inevitability and its over the top performances may appeal to those who are partial to that sort of thing.
Based on the true life romantic entanglements of triumvirate made up of Sebastian, Willie and the object of their desires, Rachel, the play looks at how the two men compete for her favours whilst also indulging their prodigious drug habits-both men were long-term crack addicts although not being the exclusive types other drugs were also consumed. Insults, epigrams and world-weary decadent faux philosophies abound nearly as much as the endless stream of profanities and mountains of drugs.
Along the way Horsley’s infamous crucifixion and well documented sexual exploits in Amsterdam are discussed in an attempt to bring some depth to the character but really at the end of the day both men come across as shallow, competitive, indulged and indulgent. Both had mother and abandonment issues and no amount of wealth can apparently compensate for them.
There are some elements of farce in this production and although Michelle Gallagher gives a more restrained performance in her role as Rachel the over the top delivery grates after a while. The audience-mainly of an older generation admittedly- seemed to love it however and laughed uproariously at every expletive as if they had never heard one used before but unfortunately I was distinctly unimpressed and more than a little disappointed.
Willie and Sebastian is on at the Gilded Balloon until August 31st(not the 17th) at 8.15pm

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