The first gay kitchen sink drama

July 23, 2017

 

I wanted to direct Coming Clean for the King's Head Theatre because I think it's a beautiful piece of work by a wonderful playwright. I'm astonished that it's not had a major London revival in the 35 years since the original production at the Bush Theatre and wanted, in the 50th anniversary month of the decriminalisation of homosexuality, to introduce it to a whole new generation.

The journey that I've been on with the cast and creative team since we began rehearsals has been fascinating and insightful, and taught me much about how the lives of gay men have changed over the past 50 years.

Coming Clean is set in the Kentish Town flat of Greg and Tony in 1982. They're in a long-term, open relationship, and the play explores what happens when one partner starts to crave monogamy.

When it was originally produced, it was arguably the first gay kitchen sink drama and it's deeply concerned with the texture of the lead characters' lives. Where they like to go out, who their friends are and their career aspirations are all present in the narrative. It quickly became clear that we needed to learn as much as possible about the world of the play.

One of the most useful things we've done has been to work with a Production Associate. David Parker is a gay man of 70, and has lived a fascinating life. In 1982, he would have been the same age as Greg and Tony are in the play - old enough to remember decriminalisation, young enough to have had a range of experiences of the cultural shift that had taken place in the 15 years since. He was kind enough to join us one afternoon and share the story of his extraordinary life with the cast...

 

You can read the full article on Broadway World. 

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