And this is my friend Sandy : Sandy Wilson's The boy friend, London theatre and gay culture /

Publication Type:



Methuen Drama ; Bloomsbury Publishing,, London [England], United Kingdom, p.1 online resource (156 pages) (2021)



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Other Number:




(OCoLC)fst00959755, (OCoLC)fst01030814, (OCoLC)fst01149217, (OCoLC)fst01201219, England, fast, Gay culture., Homosexuality., Musicals., Theater, Theater.


Chapter one. And this is my friend Sandy ... -- Chapter two. Mapping theatreland: Soho, the west end and homosexual law reform -- Chapter Three. The Ivy League: Binkie Beaumont, Noël Coward and Ivor Novello -- Chapter four. 'Oh! The fairies': the Players' Theatre Club -- Chapter five. 'That certain thing called The boy friend': the 1953 production of The boy friend -- Chapter six. 'What next?' After The boy friend -- Chapter seven. Queer utopianism: Valmouth -- Chapter eight. 'A walpurgisnacht of self-indulgence': The Ken Russell film of The boy friend, His monkey wife, The Clapham wonder and Aladdin -- Conclusion."This book situates the production of The Boy Friend and the Players' Theatre in the context of a post-war London and reads The Boy Friend , and Wilson's later work, as exercises in contemporary camp. It argues for Wilson as a significant and transitional figure both for musical theatre and for modes of homosexuality in the context of the pre-Wolfenden 1950s. Sandy Wilson's The Boy Friend is one of the most successful British musicals ever written. First produced at the Players' Theatre Club in London in 1953 it transferred to the West End and Broadway, making a star out of Julie Andrews and gave Twiggy a leading role in Ken Russell's 1971 film adaptation. Despite this success, little is known about Wilson, a gay writer working in Britain in the 1950s at a time when homosexuality was illegal. Drawing on original research assembled from the Wilson archives at the Harry Ransom Center, this is the first critical study of Wilson as a key figure of 1950s British theatre. Beginning with the often overlooked context of the Players' Theatre Club through to Wilson's relationship to industry figures such as Binkie Beaumont, Noël Coward and Ivor Novello, this study explores the work in the broader history of Soho gay culture. As well as a critical perspective on The Boy Friend , later works such as Divorce Me, Darling!, The Buccaneer and Valmouth are examined as well as uncompleted musical versions of Pygmalion and Goodbye to Berlin to give a comprehensive and original perspective on one of British theatre's most celebrated yet overlooked talents."--Compliant with Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Content is displayed as HTML full text which can easily be resized or read with assistive technology, with mark-up that allows screen readers and keyboard-only users to navigate easily.Online resource; title from HTML homepage (Bloomsbury, viewed April 19, 2021).