DOI: 10.5040/9781784604653.00000002
Scenes: 5. Roles: Male (6) , Female (1) , Neutral (0)

Kevin Elyot's last play, Twilight Song was not performed until after his death in June 2014. It is a bittersweet drama tracing a single family’s hidden liaisons over half a century, exploring the pressures faced by gay men before and after the decriminalisation of homosexuality. It was first performed at Park Theatre, London, on 12 July 2017, in a production by Cahoots Theatre Company and David Sloan in association with Park Theatre.

The play takes place in the same sitting room of a Victorian villa in North London during the early summers of 1961, 1967 and the present day. In the first scene, set in the present, retired pharmacist Barry (now in his mid-fifties and living with his elderly mother, Isabella) shows the family home to estate agent Skinner, eventually succumbing to Skinner's sexual insinuations. The action then tracks back to an evening in 1961, when Barry's father Basil (played, according to a note in the script, by the same actor) was preparing to go out for supper at Le Caprice with the pregnant Isabella, his gay uncle Charles, and Charles's married lover, Harry. Charles and Harry have long had to keep their lust for each other a secret from the family. By 1967, the year of the Sexual Offences Act, Isabella feels free to make a confession to Charles about her sex life, while liberation has come too late for Charles and Harry.

The Park Theatre production was directed by Anthony Banks and designed by James Cotterill. It was performed by Philip Bretherton (as Harry), Adam Garcia (as Skinner/Gardener), Bryony Hannah (as Isabella), Paul Higgins (as Barry/Basil) and Hugh Ross (as Charles).

Twilight Song premiered at Park Theatre, London, in 2017.

From Twilight Song

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Nick Hern Books

Kevin Elyot

ISBN: 9781848426818

Series: NHB Modern Plays

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