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Quaint Honour - Finborough Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

PRESENTED for the first time since its world premiere in 1958 and celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act of 1967 which decriminalised homosexuality in the UK, Quaint Honour by Roger Gellert runs at the Finborough Theatre on Sunday and Monday evening and Tuesday matinees from October 29 to November 21, 2017.

Why do you assume that every sexual act must have a male and a female to it?

A boy’s boarding school in the late 1950s. Homosexuality in the UK is illegal, but behind closed doors and behind the back of the Headmaster, gay sexual activity between the students is rife.

When one of the pupils accepts a challenge to seduce a younger student, he sets in motion a dangerous game of manipulation and corruption, causing devastating consequences that neither student could ever have imagined…

Examining the effects of sexual oppression at a time when the lives of young queer people were challenged by both the law and the education system, this highly controversial and brutally frank play – originally produced at the Arts Theatre to avoid the censorship of the Lord Chamberlain – is now presented onstage for the first time in over half a century.

Kenneth Tynan said of the original production that it is “The most honest and informative play about homosexuality that has yet been performed in England.”

The cast includes Jack Archer (as Hamilton), Simon Butteriss (Hallowes), Oliver Gully (Park), Jacques Miche (Turner) and Harley Viveash (Tully).

Presented by Giles Chiplin Productions in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre, by special arrangement with Tony Scotland, Quaint Honour is directed by Christian Durham (Children of Eden and the double OffWestEnd nominated Spend Spend Spend at the Union Theatre) and designed by TimMcQuillen-Wright, with sound by Gareth Evans.

Playwright Roger Gellert (1927–2013) began his career as a script reader for the iconic theatrical agent Peggy Ramsay, before going on to become Literary Editor for the Royal Shakespeare Company where he translated the plays of Jean Giraudoux, and Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle which played at the Aldwych Theatre in 1962, directed by William Gaskill. For the BBC, he translated the radio adaptations of Büchner’s Danton’s Death and Pol Quentins’s La Liberté est un dimanche. He was also a theatre critic for The New Statesman and a presenter for BBC Radio’s Third Programme. Quaint Honour was his only original play.

NB: Quaint Honour is suitable for ages 18+.

Also at the Finborough Theatre: the European premiere of a new play by the acclaimed American playwright Keith Bunin in his UK debut, The Busy World is Hushed (October 6 to November 25, 2017).