REVIEW: Dumbledore is So Gay at VAULT Festival, London

Feb 29, 2020

Posted by: Emma Pocock


This week, Dumbledore Is So Gay played as part of VAULT Festival at the Network Theatre in London for one week only, and we were lucky enough to see it!

Dumbledore is So Gay  is a contemporary play written by Robert Holtom (The Cluedo Club Killings, The Quest) and directed by Tom Wright (Undetectable, My Dad’s Gap Year). A three-person show starring Alex Britt (as Jack), Charlotte Dowding and Max Percy, Dumbledore is So Gay tells the story of Jack: a young, gay Hufflepuff (or Gryffindor, depending on which timeline you find him in!), who loves Harry Potter, hates french, has plenty of experience with school bullies, and is in love with his best friend. When the worst happens and Jack finds himself helpless, he uses as Time Turner to go back and ‘fix’ everything, from his relationships to the prejudice in the world around him.


The play is an LGBTQ+ love story, and blends humor, fantasy and reality seamlessly. At one point in the play, Jack discusses the revelation that Dumbledore is gay, saying he wishes there had been more gay people in the series, and even asks us to imagine if Harry were gay before another show of casual homophobia in Jack’s school environment. It’s refreshing to see a play exuding love of Harry Potter, but using that source material to ask questions about what representation means, and spread a message about the importance of community, acceptance and love in a way that feels familiar to fans used to discussing the various themes of Harry Potter with what has long been known as a diverse, welcoming and supportive community.

With music close enough to the sounds of Harry Potter and Cursed Child  to feel familiar (thanks to composter, Peter Wilson), Haltom and Wright manage to create a haven for LGBTQ+ fans in this show, and through the endearing character of Jack and Alex Britt’s captivating, colorful performance of a young person trying to survive school, they tell a story anybody can love.

Dowding has a great dynamic as Jack’s best friend, Gemma, with a highlight being a scene where she has to play two characters at once, giving hilarious side-eye glances to the audience to mock the hilarity of the scene. Percy as Ollie, Jack’s best friend and love interest,  is wonderfully the opposite of Britt’s bubbly, enthusiastic and expressive Jack. Ollie is closed off, full of quiet inner turmoil and shame recognisable to the LGBTQ+ community, and it’s in equal parts heartwarming  and heartbreaking to see Jack bring Ollie out of his shell and teach him to accept himself (and learn to do the same for himself) across various adventures with the Time Tuner.

Audiences laughed the whole way through this hour long play, and the Network Theatre has been packed to the rafters each show. It’s fair to say this is a play that will stick with audiences for a long time, and it certainly deserves a future so more folks can see the show!


Tickets are sold out for tonight’s performance, but if you’re lucky you might be able to nab a couple of tickets for tomorrow, Sunday 1st March! We’d love to see this show be given a future in London, so if this is a play you’d like to see, be sure to spread the word and let the team behind the play know!

Check out the rest of the VAULT Festival 2020 programming here, and find out more about Dumbledore Is So Gay here.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.