Darling Boy review – Edinburgh Festival Fringe ★★★★☆

2 mins read

Darling Boy, written and performed by Rupert Bevan, is an exceptionally tender tale of the growing pains experienced whilst trying to forge your own identity.


Bevan portrays Boy, who is gay, Australian, at university in Melbourne, and desperate to fall in love. Or so he thinks.

What he actually wants is more confused, and subject to significant influence by those around him. 

Boy’s straight female friends want to take him clubbing. Sometimes – most of the time – those are generic nightclubs. Boy knows he can’t have much fun there: everyone is straight and so there’s no-one for him to hook up with. And does he even want to just hook up?

Boy’s Gender Studies tutor wants queer people to reject heteronormativity, in a queer format: homonormativity, as they term it. Why must queer people yearn for the milestones straight people do? Surely being queer means living in an entirely different way? 

Boy really wants the hope and innocence of his first gay experience as a teenager to continue – even though he hasn’t seen that guy since he moved to Melbourne from Queensland. 

Pushed and pulled between queer culture, straight culture, being closeted, and an attempt to find his authentic self, Boy bounces between all the different worlds he inhabits. 

Final Thoughts

Bevan’s writing reveals the need for queer people to have their own spaces, unoccupied by straight people, even if they are allies. It’s just one of a number of subtle points made during the hour-long running time. 

Bevan’s stagecraft is exceptional, as he moves between being hesitant and shy to confident and determined. 

This is a lovely, warmly-told, funny, witty, often blunt, occasionally challenging piece of theatre, that tells an all too relatable tale of coming to terms with who you are. 

Darling Boy continues at the Edinburgh Fringe until August 16.

Featured Image Credit: Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

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