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Edinburgh Fringe 2022

The MP, Aunty Mandy and Me

Emmerson and Ward Productions in association with Curve

Genre: Comedy, Dark Comedy, LGBT Theatre, Solo Play, Theatre

Venue: Pleasance Dome - 10Dome


Low Down

When young gay Dom gets taken on as a paid intern by his local MP, he ends up facing surprises, dilemmas and choices that pull him in many different directions. A superb rollercoaster comedy with very serious themes about sexual consent.


This fast-paced, high quality, thought-provoking and witty comedy addresses important questions about the blurred boundaries of consent, abuse of power and sexual predation, without losing momentum, humour or becoming at all preachy. There is not a dull moment as we are swept along in the story of a young gay man, Dom, who gets a chance to step out of unemployment.

We follow 20-something gay Dom, who, sexually, is the opposite of his name. He suffers from panic attacks, is jobless, a wannabee Instagram Influencer and lives at home in a small north England village with his ecstasy-addicted mother who calls MDMA “Aunty Mandy”. He is part of the best local pub quiz team, headed by the local Tory candidate, even though Dom is apolitical. He’s not a total innocent, but he’s got a lot to learn about the diversity and realities of gay life. When his gay local Labour MP offers him a paid internship post, he jumps at the chance, They get on like a house on fire. Soon Peter the MP, who has a husband who is away a lot,  starts making advances. For a myriad of reasons, Dom feels obliged to respond and a whirlwind of exciting work, gay fetish clubs and feeling special sweep him along into Peter’s life and home. As the show’s title suggests, Dom begins using “Aunty Mandy” with the MP and allowing things to go further with Peter. With an election looming, a new bisexual hunk, Joey, is taken on in Peter’s team. Dom feels he is being replaced, and forms a changing alliance with Joey that has serious consequences for Dom and potentially for Peter.

Rob Ward is superb as the vulnerable but lusty Dom, finding just the right balance between effective narration, multi character portrayal and excellent comedy timing. The staging has a great variety in tone, pace and emotions with impressive lighting, sound and movement recreations of being inside an ecstasy trip and trying to make sense of things. The play’s story gets the audience to consider where free choice ends and sexual abuse begins, and the role of the power of an employer and celebrity in leveraging predation and coercion, without ever becoming didactic. Nor does the play clumsily show these parameters as black and white, but allows us to judge when, where and if lines of acceptability and exploitation have been crossed.  This ensures the piece is a wonderfully authentic blend of comedy, dark truths and difficult choices. It is backed by Survivors Manchester, specialists in supporting male survivors of sexual abuse and their contact details are given out to all audience members on a flyer. This hidden gem of a drama is a wonderful hour of theatre, a virtuoso example of solo performing and an important drama that entertains as it re-wires your thinking about the boundaries of sexual consent. Superb stuff ! Deserves to be more widely seen.