'A Gay Century' is a panorama of gay life in 17 scripts covering 1900-2001. They are scripts to be set to music [by award-winning Robert Ely] for one-act operas, but they stand on their own as plays as well. Now we are in lockdown again, we want to bring some entertainment to people while they are isolated, and to support the many fine actors who have lost their livelihood as theatres close. These people are desperate to keep their skills alive, and to stay in touch with a theatre community. By running these plays on Zoom on a weekly basis every Tuesday Nov 11th to Jan 5th, we will give performers a chance to keep going at what they do best. The programme is as follows:
Nov 10, 2020 07:30 PM
8pm 1907 THE JEWELS: The heist of the Irish Crown Jewels from Dublin Castle by a sado-masochistic gay 'vice ring'. You'll never guess where they end up!
9pm 1912 A HELPING HAND: EM FORSTER, constipated in his emotions and creativity, visits gay guru EDWARD CARPENTER. Carpenter's partner GEORGE MERRILL places his hand on FORSTER's bum and unblocks him...
Nov 17, 2020 07:30 PM
8pm 1962/75 THE DOG IT WAS THAT DIED. The story of the JEREMY THORPE affair [A Very English Scandal on BBC-TV] told from the point of view of the two dogs involved, the fox terrier MRS TISH and the Great Dane RINKA.
9pm 1988 ERIC LIVES WITH MARTIN AND JENNY. Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin was an innocent children's book about a little girl with two gay dads. It caused a furore which led to the passage of the notorious SECTION 28. Here Eric tells the true story behind the sweet picture book - and it's not pretty.
Nov 24, 2020 07:30 PM
8pm 1918 FRONT An 'at home' with Oscar Wilde's True Love, ROBERT ROSS, featuring poet SIEGFRIED SASSOON and a bumptious teenage BOY ACTOR and part-time sex worker whose identity is only revealed in the play.
9pm 1936 FISHING: A teenage boy is coaxed gently out of his shell by the object of Wilde's mad passion, LORD ALFRED DOUGLAS. The consequences are tragic and echo down the years.
Dec 1, 2020 07:30 PM
8pm 1944 HOME FIRES. IVOR NOVELLO, matinee idol and hugely successful composer of musicals, is sent to prison for fiddling his petrol coupons. He finds himself banged up with a young MAD FRANKIE FRASER, the psychopathic hitman of the Richardson gang in the 1960s.
9pm 1957 SEPARATE BEDS. The great and the good are demanding legalisation of gay sex. Campaigners ERIC and EDGAR are thrown into a tizzy when a car crash outside their flat brings the police in search of witnesses. Will they twig that illegal sex is happening here? A frantic scramble to get rid of all the telltale signs...
Dec 8, 2020 07:30 PM
8pm 1984 QUARANTINE. A dystopian fantasy of what we feared might happen, as the papers were full of 'THE GAY PLAGUE' stories and demands for people with HIV to be locked up.
A government minister demands internment, until the real situation comes rather closer to home. Some eerie parallels with now...
Dec 15, 2020 07:30 PM
8pm 1999 SKIN DEEP. A victim of the Admiral Duncan bombing and his friends tries to come to terms with the devastating consequences. How do you rebuild your life when everything is taken away?
9pm. ERIC'S LEATHER APPENDAGE. Not part of the cycle, but an intro into Series Two of readings. A monologue for a middle-aged actor about to go onstage to do a nude scene with an attractive younger performer....
Jan 5, 2021 07:30 PM
8pm JEKYLL & HYDE
A full-length revisionist version of Robert Louis Stevenson's scary classic, moved to Edinburgh just after the Labouchere Amendment has passed which severely penalises the slightest show of same-sex desire. A story of class, hypocrisy, lust, and murder.
Plus a new version of JEKYLL & HYDE on January 5th
The plays are presented by a company of twelve professional actors, all of whom are worthy of support. All donations go directly to them - no admin costs deducted!