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"It's what I wanted"
on 13 December 2010
A series of seemingly unconnected vignettes - a groom makes moves on a waiter during his civil-partnership reception; an East-end postman attacks men he picks up in gay bars; Theo, a 14-year-old male, sets out to seduce his 30-something neighbour - all prove to be connected, in this exquisite, brutal satire (written by Kevin Elyot and directed by Adrian Shergold).
These disparate events coalesce in a dinner party hosted by a barrister and his wife, one steamy summer evening in London. The inimitably bourgeois guests - doctors, lawyers, housewives, and a token gay writer - form a grotesque contemporary symposium of the most insipid and hypocritical middle-class 'values'.
Although originally broadcast as a one-off drama on Channel Four several years ago, the startling beauty of CLAPHAM JUNCTION is its enduring, penetrating incision. The veneer is stripped away, revealing the petty fascisms that dominate modern culture in the guises of liberal toleration, queer assimilation, and think-of-the-children protectionism. While - necessarily - a bleak work, if we are offered a single shard of optimism it is that embodied by 14-year-old Theo in his quiet yet courageous rebellion, reminding us that the apocalyptic destruction our culture so sorely needs must unfold through localised experimentation.
CLAPHAM JUNCTION's superb and impressive cast, including Joseph Mawle, Rupert Graves, James Wilby, Tom Beard and Phoebe Nicholls, are utterly convincing in their various portrayals. An emotionally-engaging work of the finest quality, this production is highly-recommended.