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I’m so delighted to have another evening to talk to one of greatest living playwrights, Martin Sherman. I was lucky enough to chair a post-show with Martin for the last West End revival of his classic play Bent, which starred Alan Cumming, and much more recently, to have him on my panel for the King’s Head Theatre’s production of Coming Clean by the late Kevin Elyot. Now, we’ll talk at the UK premiere of his latest new play…
Following a critically acclaimed run at the Public Theater in New York, Gently Down The Stream gets its UK premiere at Park Theatre.
This passionate new play by Olivier and Tony Award nominee Martin Sherman makes its UK debut 40 years after his celebrated modern classic Bent, which subsequently became a major film directed by Olivier and Tony-award nominee Sean Mathias (No Man’s Land), who directs this production of Gently Down The Stream, marking Sherman’s 80th birthday.
The play follows the remarkably moving and brilliantly funny love story of Beau, a retired American pianist living in London, and Rufus, an eccentric young lawyer. Coming of age during the 1970s, Beau’s attitude to love has been seasoned by a life of loving men in a world that initially refused to allow it. Not looking for a long-term relationship, Beau is naturally cautious when Rufus unexpectedly enters his world.
However, while the age gap feels unorthodox to Beau, it is immaterial to Rufus, who is from a new generation of gay men. Rufus has none of Beau’s doubts about the possibility of attaining happiness and love in the 21st Century and as he assimilates himself into Beau’s past and present, Beau learns to embrace Rufus as one of the most defining relationships of his life.
“Martin Sherman’s tender, funny and unconventional romance is directed with delicacy and grace by Sean Mathias” – Variety
As generations intertwine, Gently Down The Stream reveals the journey of gay history and celebrates the men and women who led the way for equality, marriage and the right to dream.
This new production stars Jonathan Hyde as Beau (played by Harvey Fierstein in the New York premiere), Ben Allen as Rufus and Harry Lawtey as Harry.