Technology has certainly evolved in 25 years, but the Halifax Theatre for Young People production of John Lazarus’ 1988 play David for Queen proves that attitudes are much slower to change. It‘s the story of a gay junior high student’s journey towards self-and-social-acceptance, and while playwright Kristin Slaney has updated the script to incorporate current language and social media usage, the lesson about inclusion and acceptance needed no revamp. David (played by James MacLean, who beautifully projects the character’s outer confidence and inner turmoil) is the target of hateful bullying which spurs him to take a stand that puts his relationships at risk. The play ends on a hopeful note, but not before exploring the very real toll that homophobia can take. The story features an engaging and entertaining mix of characters, some realistically drawn (like David’s mother, portrayed with warmth and grace by Samantha Wilson), others more broad and cartoonish (the school principal played by Christian Murray is the bumbling embodiment of old-school ignorance and prejudice). This play holds an important, heart-felt message that’s delivered in an entertaining, non-preachy way.
David for Queen runs October 10-12 & 16-18 at Alderney Landing Theatre, 2 Ochterloney St., Dartmouth, NS. Tickets can be purchased via www.ticketpro.ca or 1-888-311-9090.