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'Boys in the Band' revived on AKL stage

Mon 30 May 2005 In: New Zealand Daily News

A controversial gay play from the late sixties, derided for its uncompromising portrayal of life in the closet at the time, is set to return to the Auckland stage next month. Boys in the Band was the first play to not only deal with homosexuality openly, but include a full cast of gay men. It was first performed off-Broadway in 1968 before being made into a Hollywood film by William Friedkin (The Exorcist) in 1970. It provided a fishbowl look at a cross-section of gay men, in a story set at a birthday-cum-cocktail party in an upscale Greenwich Village apartment. Over the course of the evening, some painful home truths would be revealed. Some gay critics derided the play at the time for its heavy dose of self-loathing. Others praised its honesty. Thirty years on, the play is being revived at Auckland's Silo Theatre by director Jonathan Hendry. He plans to add a contemporary twist to the play's sixties setting. "This is a time of reflection, when we acknowledge what has gone before. Many of the issues raised in Boys in the Band, such as open relationships and the search for contentment, are still hovering,” he says. Boys in the Band will open at the Silo Theatre on 15 June and runs until 2 July.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Monday, 30th May 2005 - 12:00pm

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