Spanish gay rom-com Smiley makes Brisbane stage debut


smiley backdock arts theatre brisbane spain play gay romantic comedy
Photos courtesy of Liam Burke/BackDock Arts

Spanish gay romantic comedy Smiley will transport audiences to Barcelona during its Australian debut in Brisbane this week.

The new local adaptation keeps the Spanish setting and follows Alex (Sergio Torres, above left) and Bruno (Matt Young) who only have one thing in common – they’re both gay men.

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However an invisible thread of destiny connects the unwitting pair, whether they like it or not.

When Alex decides to call a previous lover who ghosted him, he accidentally dials a single incorrect digit.

A chance voicemail leads to an ordinary and awkward date that will change the duo’s lives forever.

Smiley looks at how new technology has affected gay relationships and finds humour in the fears we have when falling in love.

Spanish playwright Guillem Clua penned the quirky and intimate gay romance in 2013. Australian Liam Burke has now written and directed a new English language adaptation.

Actor Matt Young said Smiley is “frank, sexy and funny” and described it as “sort of When Harry Met Sally mixed with an Pedro Almodovar film”.

“Come travel to Barcelona with us for the price of a theatre ticket,” he said.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce Liam’s new adaptation of the play to a Brisbane audience.

“The freedom of telling a gay story with an all gay team is so refreshing.”

Liam Burke said the play came together largely online during COVID lockdown this year.

“In April, Matt and Sergio were determined to keep their creative minds alive,” he said.

“Sergio had previously performed the play in Chile, in Spanish. They came to me with the script, looking for a director.

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“We rehearsed by Zoom for several months. We talked back and forth, with notes and updates and changes.

“By July, we could meet in person and rehearse at BackDock Arts. They’ve given us so much support.”

Smiley is at BackDock Arts at 103 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley from November 19 to 29. Tickets are on sale now.

Smiley is part of the Brisbane Pride Festival program

Smiley is supported by the Brisbane Pride Festival and is part of the 2020 program which is underway this month.

The lineup is a mix of online and in-person events organised in conjunction with Queensland Health.

Brisbane Pride Festival confirmed on Tuesday due to Queensland’s relaxing COVID-19 restrictions, Fair Day will allow larger crowds and dancing in New Farm Park on November 28.

For tickets and the full lineup visit the Brisbane Pride Festival website.

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