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This Room Is My Dressing Room and the World Is My Stage

This Room Is My Dressing Room and the World Is My Stage

Roy Ward as Quentin Crisp in
By Tim Fountain. Based on the life and writings of Quentin Crisp.

The multi-award winning one-hander based on the life of and musings of gay raconteur Quentin Crisp flaunts its way to The Basement Studio for a limited season from August 20th. Resident Alien, starring Roy Ward, may play the intimate studio space, but its message would resonate in even the biggest venues.
his witticisms and humour make Oscar Wilde seem like a dullard.
- The Guardian

Come upstairs to Quentin Crisp’s famously filthy New York apartment where England’s best loved Stately Old Homo is waiting to tell you how to be happy. Life. Love. Marriage (gay, royal and otherwise).  Mass murder. Margaret Thatcher. Sex. And the secret of never having your heart broken.  The 90-year-old Professor of Style explains it all and delivers his personal recipe for self-fulfilment.

An iconoclast within – and without - the gay community,  Crisp came of age in London in the 1920s, an era when being openly gay was especially dangerous.  The young Quentin looked for love as a rent boy but found only degradation and  spent three decades as a life model  before penning his autobiography The Naked Civil Servant, which led to a hugely popular television adaptation starring John Hurt and thrust Crisp into the international spotlight.  At an age when many people move to nursing homes, he moved to New York and became the “Resident Alien” of the play’s title.

English playwright Tim Fountain says of Crisp   “Quentin was a flirt, a tease, a profound conservative and a left wing radical, an Edwardian gentleman and an anarchist, a hater of the establishment and yet an upholder of some of its values.  In short, a great, glittering contradiction and truly one of the most vivid, original and entertaining characters of the twentieth century.  He took the raw materials of his life and fashioned it into the wit and wisdom that became his trademark.  He was absolute proof that life is not about what happens to you but the way you deal with it.  He was an individual in a world increasingly populated by droids”.

Roy Ward is looking forward to bringing Crisp back to life –  he died in 1999 just as the first production of this play reached the stage – and recreating his notoriously shabby East Village apartment in the Basement Studio, with the help of set designer Jessika Verryt.

Ward hopes the play will attract a wide audience.  “Quentin hated the idea of being ghettoised in the gay community.  He says in the play ‘I see my life as a slow journey from the outer suburbs of ostracism almost to the heart of the world – assuming it has a heart.  I would not wish to be shunted into a siding.’  It’s intriguing to wonder what he would have made of gay marriage.”

This is the first solo show of Ward’s 30-year acting career.  He is a former Associate Director of Auckland Theatre Company where his directing credits include My Name Is Gary Cooper by Victor Rodger and Noel Coward’s Design For Living.  His most recent production Black Faggot, also by Victor Rodger, played at the Basement earlier this year and won four Auckland Fringe Awards including Best Theatre Production.

August 20th – 24th, 6:30pm
Basement Theatre Studio, Lower Greys Avenue, CBD
Ticket prices: $25, $22
Bookings: iTicket – or 09 361 1000


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