“I’m not gay. I’m not full blown gay. I’m just… in Sydney”
Even though it’s only just over a decade old, Tommy Murphy’s Strangers In Between already feels like a bit of a period piece. In a similar way to Beautiful Thing, it depicts a version of metropolitan gay life that has already – in many ways - been left behind by the fast-changing pace of our society. From Scruff to Grindr to the depths of the internet, being gay is just different these days.
Which is not to say that Strangers In Between is fatally dated, it just operates in a kind of pseudo-space. It’s set in the sketchy King’s Cross area of Sydney where 16-year-old Shane has run away to from his hometown of Goulburn and got himself a job in a bottlo (off-license). There, his boyish charms attract the attentions of customers such as the built Will and the older Peter, who help him to find his feet and eventually, to deal with the past he’s fled.