Review: I am Not Myself These Days

Tom Stuart as drag queen Aqua in I Am Not Myself These Days. Picture: Manuel Vasson

Tom Stuart as drag queen Aqua in I Am Not Myself These Days. Picture: Manuel Vasson - Credit: Manuel Vasson

The intimate venue of Stratford Circus was perfect for East Ham born Tom Stuart’s one man homecoming show, I Am Not Myself These Days.

Based on the autobiography by Josh Kilmer-Purcell, it tells of his double life working in an advertising agency by day while performing as drag queen Aqua by night and trying to make a success of his relationship with crack-addicted rent boy Jack.

The pace in this hard-hitting show, written and performed by Tom Stuart and set in hedonistic New York of the 90s, doesn’t let up.

From the moment these two lost souls find each other at a bar we are taken on a journey through three-day crack parties, being bitten on the ankles by a latex wearing British CEO to falling into a K-hole.

A focused, powerful and raw performance from Tom did not lose momentum throughout the 75-minute show.

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The tumultuous affair finally comes to an end as Jack heads off to rehab.

At the same time Josh says goodbye to Aqua by sending her clothes floating off down the Hudson.

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This show leaves the audience much to think about.

Despite their flaws Josh and Jack accept each other as they are and remind us that we all need to love and be loved.

At the show’s end as Josh gets ready for work it could well be the very life he had sought to escape might yet be the saving of him.

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