It’s gender neutral
a university. There is, for instance, the eponymous Teddy, a geeky gay loner who, despite indulging in the somewhat unedifying habit of exposing himself online for the gratification of others, nevertheless claims to feel terribly exposed by a room-mate’s webcam pointed at his bed.
Shinn exposes the culture of victim status that says you’re no one unless you’re an oppressed minority. But without wishing to be guilty of my own micro (or macro) aggression against LBTGQ communities (“We’re running out of letters,” says Marsh’s droll President) it all feels like one of those so-called groundbreaking Channel 4 series from the 1980s that defined its characters more by their sexuality than their, well, character.
In fact, the whole multi-stranded thing would probably have been better suited to TV. Location changes are inelegantly handled. Sometimes characters are stranded and inert in one part of the stage while a pool of light drags our attention to the active scene elsewhere.
More problematic, however, is that, while the play exposes the particular brand of sophistry used to promote a so-called worthy cause, unlike Mamet’s attack on political correctness, no one really suffers as a result here. The university’s president will probably become a senator, Gabe will move on too and those with a vested interested in promoting themselves as victims will carry on doing so, only possibly with more toilets than they need. The evening ends in a shrug of so what.
at the Donmar
Marsh and the cast of