A Filthy Dirty Rumour
As part of LGBTQIA+ Awareness week the Dark Forest Theatre has created a new powerful, intense production which not only raises awareness within the community, it also highlights real mental health issues that people face on a daily basis.
Written by Northern Irish actor Nathan D. Martin, who also has a starring role in the play, ‘A Filthy Dirty Rumour’ tackles real life issues including sexual identity, suicide and troubled relationships.
Ruth (played by the beautiful Jade O’Neill) is married to Oscar (played by Nathan D. Martin), however while their marriage seems to be perfect to outsiders, it soon unravels that they are in a deeply turbulent relationship full of secrets and lies. The pair no longer have sex, and while Ruth convinces herself that she would like to start a family, is this what she really wants?
One evening, Eva (played by Eleanor Shannon), who is a lodger in Ruth and Oscar’s home, has a drink with Ruth, and she eventually tells Eva about her troubled marriage. They get close and Eva comforts her, however Ruth’s sister Alma (played by Christine Clarke ) walks in on the pair and misinterprets the scenario as something more sexual, which Ruth and Eva strenuously deny, But do they really have feelings for each other?
Alma, who is a devout Christian, tells the whole community what she saw, including Ruth’s husband Oscar, and soon Eva’s world falls apart. She loses her job as a teacher and many people turn against her because of her sexuality. However, Oscar doesn’t believe Alma and completely ignores the rumours and fails to confront his wife… until one evening Ruth decides to take control and reveals to him what she saw him doing behind the bike sheds before they got married.
The couple finally have a truthful and honest talk and both of them come to terms with their own sexual identities. But can Ruth live with the rumours, gossip and lies?
‘A Filthy Dirty Rumour’ is a very hard-hitting, tragic production which deals with real-life issues within the LGBTQIA+ community. Although it does include some comedy moments , there is so much to enjoy and admire in this production. My advice is do not resist.
A Filthy Dirty Rumour is presented in partnership with The Rainbow Project and is at The Sanctuary Theatre in Belfast until Saturday, 20th May.
Review by Colleen Dornan