Martin Sherman's 1979 play Bent is to be Bootcamp Theatre's first production of 2013. Bent explores the persecution of gay men during the Holocaust and despite now being over thirty years old, is still controversial. A theatre in Texas was forced to close in 2009 when it attempted to put on the play. The Bootcamp production is being staged as part of LGBT History Month and I hope the harrowing storyline won't be too strong for Eastbourne audiences.
Max and Rudy are gay men living together in 1930s Berlin. When Max brings home a Sturmabteilung man one night, Rudy is understandably resentful, but his anger soon turns to fear. This is the Night of the Long Knives and when the SS discover and kill the man in their apartment, Max and Rudy are forced to escape the city. They find safety for a while with Max's uncle but eventually are arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Dachau. Max denies his sexuality and relationship with Rudy, believing he will be safer in the camp as a Jew.
Directed by Nigel Fairs (My Gay Best Friend, Secret Honour), the Bootcamp production will star Radley Mason (The History Boys) as Max and Ben Woodward (The History Boys, Art) as Horst. Also in the cast are Josh Impey, Mike Keegan and Bootcamp newcomer Jordan Quigley.
The play contains violence and strong language.
The Little Theatre, Wed 27th Feb - Sat 2nd Mar, 19:45.
Tickets £10 (£9 concessions) available online or by calling 0845 680 1926.