David Hoyle is a performer, actor and cabaret artist from Blackpool. Diamond is his latest show and charts his life story along with an engaging look at LGBT political history. David informs the audience that the show was commissioned to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act of 1967, which partially decriminalised homosexual acts in England and Wales. The venom and bitterness with which David spits out the word “decriminalisation” fully expresses his thoughts and feelings over the word and how it is used in this context.
During Diamond the audience is taken on a journey, where the story is presented in a series of short scenes. In each scene David chronicles his life from his beginnings in Blackpool and working in BHS as a young, gay man. We then hear how he moved to London in his early twenties and enjoyed the music and party scene and then settled in Manchester three years later where he developed his performance persona of The Divine David.
Hoyle is a master storyteller. At times the show is a spoken word performance where the cadence and delivery of his words has a sharp and witty poetry. Other times the show is very much a stand-up comedy routine with audience interaction, punchlines and laughs all-round. Even when delivering jokes David has a personal and poignant edge and this approach expresses the deep and welcoming attitude that David has towards the audience. He even calls out people in the crowd that he recognises and has encountered in his many years as a performer. He makes a brilliant host, with a personality that is utterly endearing.
The show works best and is at its most poignant when he discusses the persecution and ill-treatment of LGBT people. This includes a heartfelt monologue detailing the exploitation and mistreatment of Alan Turing. The darker, bleaker moments of Diamond are broken by performance troupe The LipSinkers. They take to the stage to lip-synch along to song and dance numbers and give David the chance to leave the stage and change costume.
Diamond is a thoroughly entertaining show that looks to cover a lot of ground. In a little over an hour there is not enough time to encompass David’s interesting back story and also take a wider look at LGBT history. Diamond however does feel spontaneous, exciting, direct and imaginative and has a joyful feel-good ending that ensures that the audience leave the Tron Theatre in Glasgow with smiles on their faces.