This week I talked with UK writer-director Peter Darney about his award winning play 5 Guys Chillin' that opened September 27th for fourteen performances through October 9th at the SoHo Playhouse in NYC. Darney script was born from more than 50 hours of interviews with guys contacted through apps like Grindr about their experience with the toxic exploration of meth driven gay sex parties. From surgeons to students this is an original look into a drug-fuelled, hedonistic, highly secret world of Chem-Sex, Grindr and instant gratification. The resulting play comes with unexpected humorous perspectives as well as brutally hard-hitting moments. The play also tackles crucial issues like HIV status, STDs and the less glamorous side of this recreation activity that may seem foreign to some but for others this kind of party will be painfully familiar. 5 Guys Chillin' is winner of the Brighton Fringe Award for best LGBTQ theatre 2016, winner of the Doric Wilson Intercultural Dialogue Award at the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival and winner of Boyz Scene Award for best London play. I talk to Peter about his inspiration for 5 Guys Chillin' and his spin on our LGBT issues.
Being from the United Kingdom when asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights and what he would like to see happen for LGBT equality in his country Darney stated:
I'd say that my commitment is more to fighting discrimination of any kind. Through my art, through my theatre I shine a light on untold stories to make people think about things, to make people get out of their own box, get out of their own comfortable norm and think about other people. So I'd say it's more about that than specifically targets towards LGBT civil rights for me although obviously I have worked on a lot of plays that are trying to push those rights forward but inequality in general and ignorance in general is what I try to fight.
(In the UK) I would like to see people able and this is starting already in some cases, people able to come out at a very early age. I would like to see people not have to go through school denying their sexuality. I would like there to be open dialogue and education within our school system and our community group so that young people do not have to grow up holding a secret that makes them feel bad and guilty and ashamed and different and don't have to form a lie behind every relationship that they have through this secret as they grow up because I think ultimately that is what we need in order to be able to achieve a better or happier level of intimacy as adults.
Peter Darney was trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. His credits include: Signal Failure (Soho Playhouse-Off Broadway 6 week run). Kindness- BBC Radio 4 (Pick of the week- the Independent), Frank Sent Me (Soho Theatre/ The Underbelly/ Theatre 503), Githa (St James Theatre, W/E and York Theatre Royal), Pinocchio (Sutton Theatres), Tom's Midnight Garden (Orchard Dean: open air production), 6 Degree's (Soho Theatre: Main House, Edward II (The Rose Theatre), Mysterious Skin (Gilded Balloon, The Drill Hall, Teacher's Club, Dublin), Arden of Faversham (The Rose Theatre) and Beautiful Thing (BAC). Peter is also a recipient of the prestigious BBC Carlton Hob's Award.
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