Writer: Sam Moore
Director: Noah Alfred Pantano
Sam Moore’s thought-provoking and funny one-person play, So You’ve Found Me, helpfully opens with a summary of the clichés audiences expect from dramas about coming out as LGBTQ+. These include the hero’s quest towards sexual awakening and self-acceptance, the antagonist, more often than not in the form of unsympathetic society and internalised homophobia, and bucket-loads of compelling conflict, ripe with dramatic potential.
Moore’s aim in this absorbing and smart 55-minutes is not so much to critique the genre as to remind us that real-life experiences rarely fit into such neatly structured narratives. For many LGBTQ+ (and indeed straight) people, sexuality is fluid and situation specific. Coming out is not necessarily a harrowing journey, but an ongoing question about the positive possibilities that life offers. It is about looking in the mirror and asking, ‘What are you, today?’ And the answer may not always the same every time the question is posed. For this writer, the gay anthem I Am What I Am needs to be re-written as I Am All The Things I Might Become.
Moore names his protagonist Nemo (Luis Donegan-Brown). Presumably this is an allegorical nod to Jules Verne’s mysterious explorer of the seven seas, as the character’s coming out voyage certainly takes him on quite a variety of sexual adventures. From evenings perusing random Tinder profiles (during one of which he accidentally comes across his best friend’s brother), to the events of a first relationship with a football-crazy boyfriend, to encounters with the most obscure corners of Pornhub, to hanging out with an equally sexually fluid female sex-buddy, there is a lot to take in. But Donegan-Brown is such an appealing and charismatic performer, with a first-class gift for comic timing, that it is difficult not to get swept along in the sheer comic joy of it all. It is not often an audience is asked to join in with a brief chorus of a Cher song, but it is that kind of show.
It needs to be said that that many LGBTQ+ people prefer to identify as part of a more or less fixed community, something which entails embracing some of the labels that Moore’s character seems to find problematic. Nevertheless, So You’ve Found Me is a refreshing reminder from a strong and engaging comic voice that there is more than one way of being queer, and not always a simple answer to the question ‘Who do you fancy?’
Runs until 8 October 2022