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    First Published: April 2003
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
You Don't Kiss is an evocative new comedy which follows three black gay men in their search for love. It's written by Brixton-born Troy Andrew Fairclough who won the Newham Writing Out Award for the play a couple of years ago at the age of 27. A new production of the play is going on tour around the UK over the next month and OutUK's Mike Gray has been talking to the Director.
Set in a park somewhere in London's urban sprawl You Don't Kiss takes you on a quest for love, lust (and the perfect blow job). For Hartley, the park is a sanctuary, a means of escape from his dull, solitary existence. It is here that he believes he will meet a prince to carry him off on a white charger.

His knight in shining armour comes in the form of the handsome Ian, a gay escort who Hartley hires to prove to his friend Justin that he can be loved. But the plan backfires and Hartley retaliates by slowly weaving a magical web to draw Ian into his world.

This new production is by the Pursued By A Bear Theatre Company which was founded in 1998 to support and develop new writers from diverse backgrounds, to bring their work to audiences across the UK and to encourage new audiences to come to the theatre. One of the founders Stuart Mullins told us that You Don't Kiss both entertains while at the same time confronting such issues surrounding gay sex in the black community, small town attitudes, gay bashing and the hedonism of the gay scene.

"The play is essentially about being black and gay, and it's about love. It's also a look at the gay community, in that one character, Hartley, is all about searching for love and romance, another, Justin is about the scene, going out partying and taking drugs. The last guy, Ian, is like the professional side of the gay scene. And they all come together in this park which is quite significant because these men have been forced to go underground - hiding in a children's play area because the is such intense hostility to gay men in the black community."

Troy's play is a bitter-sweet comedy full of vivid and pacey dialogue and it deals with issues that resonate outside the gay community says Stuart.

"You Don't Kiss is special because the need for love and a sense of belonging that is felt by all the characters in the play is universal no matter what your sexuality or gender."

You Donít Kiss opens at London's Oval House Theatre on Wednesday 23rd April and tours nationally from 7th May.

LONDON 23 April-3 May Oval House
CRAWLEY 7 May The Hawth
DARLINGTON 9 May Darlington Arts Centre
BIRMINGHAM 13 May Midland Arts Centre
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD 14 May Old Town Hall
READING 15 May 21 South Street
CAMBRIDGE 16 May The Junction
PLYMOUTH 17 May Barbican Theatre
NOTTINGHAM 20 May Djanogly Theatre
TUNBRIDGE WELLS 24 May Trinity Theatre 01892 678678


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