A LOVE story about the same two men but set decades apart has many similarities despite the changes to gay rights.

The Pride is a play running for the 2016 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival which evolves around two parallel love stories as it shifts between 1958 and the present day.

In 1958, Oliver and Philip fall for each other but are forced to be strangers to desire and themselves.

However, their love story in present sees anonymous sex and empty style collide with the human heart.

The Pride director Shane Bosher said the play really looked at the idea of gay liberation and questions its costs and benefits.

“It explores changing attitudes to love, sexuality and authenticity on either side of the sexual revolution,” he said.

“But are we actually in happier because we’re free or has sexual liberation opened us up to other problems?”

Bosher said The Pride was a provocation to audiences and he wanted the audience to feel leave the theatre talking about the feelings and thoughts the play brings about.

In 1958, Oliver is a bit of a dreamer dealing with society’s oppression but in 2016 he’s out loud and proud and a sassy gay, but he’s dealing with other issues such as self-repression and internalised homophobia.

The Pride debuted in England in 2008 and even in the past eight years there has been changes in the gay world, which is why it was updated to reflect those differences.

“In 2008 there was a story about Gaydar in the play… but now we have what’s called the ‘Grindr aria’,” Bosher said.

“This version doesn’t have the conversation about marriage equality, but you still walk away thinking about issues like that, and you do think about gay men being thrown off buildings, thinking about the atrocities in Russia because that’s what is being spoken about in 2016.”

The Pride is on until March 6.

The Pride:
Dates: February 5– March 6, 2016
Times: Tuesday – Saturday 8pm, Sunday 5pm, Sat matinee at 3pm (NB: No 8pm performance on March 5)
Venue: Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton St, Darlinghurst.
Tickets: Call the box office 02 8356 9987

The Star Observer is a proud media partner of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

For all of Star Observer’s Mardi Gras coverage, click here

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