Presented by Gay for Pay Productions
Blake and Clay are back! It’s hard to believe it’s been only a year. This duo already feels iconic. As a follow up, Blake & Clays’s Gay Agenda adheres to the same info-presentation format with campy, jump-scare-esque visual aid gags that always send me. This time, though, we (the audience) aren’t the straight male actors desperate to play gay roles; no, now we are THE GAYS!
Blake and Clay’s current mission: to UNITE US! All this division and blame and butt-hurt hot takes and ago and…. SHAME!
Jonathan Wilson (Clay) and Daniel Krolik (Blake) have such an affable, relentlessly enthusiastic vibe. Even more of their contrasting quirks come out here—Blake’s thinly veiled sexual hang-ups and Jewish ancestor trauma, Clay’s preoccupation with provocative sexual proclivities. And the recurring gag that most tickles me: the less-than-subtle shade thrown at the poor Twinks.
Writers Curtis Campbell and Krolik have their fingers on the pulse of both the Queer community and the Canadian theatre industry. In a segment outlining the gay narratives Blake and Clay have penned as trailblazing gay artists, one of my favourite jokes is their scathing spoof of the hyperbolic language used to define “relevant,” “culturally significant” work. Full of pretentious, tired conceits, each is declared as “an incendiary new play that asks the question…”
As with the earlier instalment, we get a little real towards the finale. A chaotic Q&A session leads them to address, directly, the infighting that undermines the Queer community—and, more broadly, most progressive communities. They tell us, in no uncertain terms, who the real antagonists are and how perfectly our squabbling distracts and deflects. How eagerly we play right into the hands of those who would see us flounder and flail.
This show, like the previous, is a feast of buzz words and playful jabs at the echo chamber rhetoric of current discourse. Campbell and Krolik are such great satirists because they understand the most effective skewering comes not from grotesque exaggeration or mean-spiritedness; but rather, through careful angling and a genuine, though complicated, affection for the their subject.
Pointed. Hilarious. No notes.