Nicholas de Jongh’s new play Pricked Out will play for 4 performances in a production without décor from 25-29 March.
A young man, lying asleep on a deserted beach, is woken up by another young man who has lost his bearings and needs help in discovering where he is. After beginning to question each other it quickly becomes clear that neither of them have any idea of who they are or where they find themselves. But did they perhaps know each other well a very long time ago?
From further along the beach come the sounds of something strange going on. Two young women, a Runner on a film set disturbed by a recurrent dream, a middle aged figure adorned in long blonde hair and snoring in a deck chair, a retired Professor of English Literature form part of the puzzle. Finally somebody arrives swimming from the sea and the painful truth begins to emerge.
Nicholas de Jongh’s magic realist play Pricked Out delves into time past to pose questions and offers tentative answers about the one sensational and turbulent love affair of William Shakespeare’s life.
This is Nicholas de Jongh’s third play – the first, Plague Over England premièred at the Finborough in 2008, before being transferring to the West End by Bill Kenwright in 2009. The second, The Unquiet Grave of Garcia Lorca, debuted in an early version as part of the Finborough’s Vibrant 2013 – their season dedicated to rehearsed readings, where, in two earlier of these seasons his Keep the Ghost Awake and There Goes my Future had been presented – and then later at the Drayton Arms. He has also contributed a one act play Aids Memoire in 1990 to Max Stafford Clark’s season of Platonic Dialogues at the Royal Court.
De Jongh went almost straight from University to the Guardian as a reporter, He subsequently became the paper’s arts correspondent and deputy theatre critic, covered three major Obscenity trials (Oz School Kids, the Gay News Blasphemous Libel and the Romans in Britain. He wrote about gay issues and wrote features on a succession of gay artists from Derek Jarman to Thom Gunn at a time when gayness was more of a taboo subject than out in the open . From 1991 to 2009, he was the Evening Standard’s chief theatre critic.
His book Politics, Pruderies and Perversions (Methuen), an analysis of the operations of twentieth century Theatre Censorship in the UK won a Theatre Book Prize from the Society of Theatre Research. His Not in Front of the Audience was a pioneeering account of homosexuality on stage in the twentieth century.
For more details have a look at the theatre’s official website.
Performance times: Saturday 25 March 4.45, Sunday 26 March 8.30,Monday 27 March 8.30, Wednesday 29 March 3.00.