Gay marriage is a blazing switch that everyone from politicians to spiritual leaders to that old guy in the deli seems intent on prodding – but none flip this particular switch quite like London’s DV8 Physical Theatre. Straight With You is an electric exploration of tolerance and its opposite, religion and homosexuality in the British Isles. DV8 uses their fierce brand of movement and multimedia to give voice to the stories of those who would otherwise remain silent. Every word spoken on stage was pulled from hundreds of hours of personal accounts, most given on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal from their own community.
Such complex themes can’t be fully expressed via dance alone, no matter how physically daring or aesthetically interesting, so artistic director Lloyd Newson sought text and real-life stories for the first time in DV8’s history, rounding out the piece with documentary and animated footage. This alchemy of disciplines speaks to modern society and its dire need to reconcile personal belief with universal human rights.
Especially relevant in San Francisco, home of the Castro and among the first places in the world where being openly gay was accepted, Straight With You is a visceral gut punch. Such an artistic karate chop will resonate with everyone in the audience – gay, straight, married, single, black, white or purple – in a difficult but ultimately life-affirming performance.
November 12 – 14 at 8 p.m. Novellus Theater at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. 700 Howard St. $27-$39. (415) 978-2787 or www.ybca.org.