Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Sunday, November 20, 2005  

Went with a friend last evening to see Brown Cotton Theatre's production of Bent, Martin Sherman's play about the treatment of gays in Nazi Germany.

I'd seen the film adaptation, with Ian McKellen (who had the lead role in the play's 1979 London premiere), Mick Jagger (deliciously cast as an aging drag queen) and the as yet unknown Clive Owen and Jude Law a few years ago, but as good as it was, for some odd reason it didn't really resonate. This production, though by no means perfect, was solid and serviceable.

What I like about Bent is that the lead character, Max, is not obviously sympathetic. He's an opportunistic, self-loathing, coke-snorting party boy, living from one sexual encounter to another. Even after the infamous "Night of Long Knives", when Hitler has all the known gay officers of his army exterminated and gays begin to be persecuted and rounded up to be taken to the camps, Max continues to be in denial of who he is, and of what is happening to him. Eventually, after a series of harrowing experiences and in the most unlikely of places, he comes to truly understand and embrace love.

Putting on Bent is a brave undertaking any way you look at it, but Brown Cotton should be specially commended for staging the play here. Incidentally, I'm a little surprised that the daily papers haven't reviewed it--alright, I'm surprised that the Guardian hasn't; the Express and Newsday make no pretences about providing any serious arts and literature coverage. But the theatre and literature critic for the Guardian, my friend Lisa Allen-Agostini usually reviews plays worth reviewing, and Bent is certainly worthy of a professional critique.

posted by Jonathan | 7:33 PM 0 comments


save boissiere house
Bina Shah
Nicholas Laughlin
Caribbean Free Radio
Global Voices
Jessie Girl
Club Soda and Salt
Caribbean Cricket
Jai Arjun Singh
email me