A man in pink slippers and a green sequined waistcoat sits at a Yamaha keyboard adorned with stickers and a glitterball. An older man stands nearby, clad in a dirty white robe, red stilettos and heavy make-up. This father and son cabaret act-son the keyboard player, father the drag artiste-are about to relate the story of their lives, and it's a good deal darker than their attire suggests.
Writer Joel Horwood (also making his directing debut) has crafted a desperate tale of sexual and emotional anguish that is, at times, achingly sad. Michael (or Lulu, to give him his stage name) is a teenager in the Peterborough of the title when, still discovering his sexuality, he is brusquely rejected by another boy after a brief sexual encounter. Another equally fleeting dalliance with a young woman results in her becoming pregnant. Some 15 years later his son seeks him out after his mother has died. "I don't like dads, I never wanted to be one" is Michael's reaction. And so begins a fragile relationship between two damaged, needy people, neither of whom is able to be there for the other.
The story is narrated in retrospect by the pair, leaving little in the way of visual action-bar a rendition of Annie Lennox's 'There Must Be an Angel'-meaning the piece requires considerable imagination from the audience. However, Horwood's language is rich and the two actors-Milo Twomey and Jay Taylor-enact it evocatively, building to a conclusion which simmers with fraught emotion, the pair's outfits masking a well of sadness.