CCA, Glasgow Three stars A man sits onstage at a candle-lit table adorned with wine goblets and other dinner party accoutrements. Dressed up in eighteenth century finery, the man could be some kind of role-playing maitre d if it weren't for the leather trousers and shades that give him more the air of the Marquis de Sade. As it turns out, both are true in Martin Lewton's new piece for Theatre North that forms part of Glasgay!'s twentieth anniversary programme. Newton comes on dressed in suit and tie in what turns out to be an approximation of a fetish dungeon in Andrew McKinnon's production, though over the next fifty minutes he will deliver his unflinchingly intimate monologue almost naked while chained to a wooden St Andrew's Cross as McKinnon himself takes on the role of the de Sade like gate-keeper. As Lewton unveils his fantasy of the man he calls Fat Handel and his imagined lust for a boy castrato, McKinnon administers assorted physical aides to Newton to help move his story along. That these include nipple clamps, dog food and hot candle wax speak volumes about where Newton is coming from. As the brief flourish of Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer's ultimate hedonist's anthem, I Feel Love, suggests alongside the triumphal blasts of the Messiah, Newton's concern here is with the sexual charge behind great art which in turn can result in a form of quasi-religious transcendence. There's the blurred lines too between agony and ecstasy that fuel them all. None of which is anything new, though even laid bare so publicly, it makes for an oddly un-erotic theatre of voyeurism.
The Herald, October 17th 2013 ends