Last year’s production of The Boys In The Band (Park Theatre) was one of our top five theatre revivals of 2016, earning itself a monsta nomination.
- Read on for reasons including how The Boys In The Band is the first true depiction of gay men
We’re here at the BFI on London’s Southbank for the monthly Q&A with film critic Mark Kermode and one of his special guests is Sherlock author and star Mark Gatiss, who appeared in The Boys In The Band at the Park and reprises the role for 15 performances at the Vaudeville beginning 7/2.
We gave the Park’s production 5* (see trailer above) and said Gatiss’ participation should not be your main reason to see this show, not least because he appears only at the very end of the first act.
Gatiss tells Kermode the production’s run ended before Christmas: ‘We finished two months ago. Just long enough to forget it.’
He calls Mart Crowley’s classic the ‘first gay play’. ‘It was written in 1968 and changed everything. It was the first time gay men had been presented as they are. It also hasn’t been done for 20 years.’
Gatiss (whose character is pictured on the left in the still from the original movie trailer above) talks about the mental health issues that the original material raises. ‘Lots of young people have told me that’s their Saturday night right there.
‘My character gets all the punchlines and I don’t have to do any of the work. It’s also a very good film. It’s very dark and I think the play is actually a lot funnier. It starts very dark and actually gets darker and darker. What was great about the film is that it contains the same cast as the original play. It’s an amazing record of the original show.’
Planning to join Gatiss for the limited West End run of The Boys In The Band? We’ll see you there.