Watch Now: Finborough stages controversial LGBT drama for online audiences

Here’s an interesting and controversial first-time revival which comes appropriately during LGBTQ Pride month, available free online, as a benefit for an LGBTQ charity.

The Finborough brings us the first opportunity in over thirty years to see a staged reading of the play LEATHER by Peter-Scott Presland. It will be livestreamed, and then available on demand.

“I loathe violence. I don’t understand how people can inflict it on each other voluntarily.”
“Nobody knows what they’re truly capable of. Isn’t it better to use it in play-acting than keep it under some hatch which is bound to blow anyway one day?”

Phil befriends Gordon, a rape survivor, and they become lovers.

But Gordon finds himself drawn to Phil’s best friend, Terry, who is into heavy sadomasochism…

Following its hugely controversial run at the Finborough Theatre in 1990, Homo Promos presents this Zoom staged reading of Peter-Scott Presland’s LEATHER.

The reading was live streamed on Tuesday, 15 June at 7.00pm, and will then be available from Tuesday, 22 June to Tuesday, 20 July 2021 on the Finborough Theatre’s YouTube channel, and concurrently with subtitles on Scenesaver.

Please note that the play is suitable for adults only.

A brave and groundbreaking play about gay domestic abuse, redolent of pain and violence in all its forms, consensual and non-consensual, as physical abuse is paralleled by mental control, and the erosion of any sense of worth.

Two members of the original cast, Matthew Hodson and Keith Bursnall, will be appearing in the Zoom reading, with the author, Peter Scott-Presland, present. The Zoom reading will be followed by a chance to discuss the issues involved with the cast and author.

The most controversial play Homo Promos ever produced, and the one which people keep asking to see again. It played to packed houses at the Finborough Theatre, despite an attempt by Whitbread, the brewery that owned the Finborough Arms building at the time, to close it. Section 28, preventing the ‘promotion of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship’ was also waved at the company.

Male rape was first highlighted by newspaper Capital Gay in two 4-page centre spreads after Heaven nightclub used a rape scene as its Halloween ‘entertainment’ in 1981. Author of LEATHER, Peter-Scott Presland was one of the journalists who worked on that exposé, and the experience fed into the writing of the play which was completed in 1987, although it took three years to get a company together to stage it. When it was performed it was the first play to deal with the subject within the gay community. Many objected violently to any suggestion that it was a common occurrence. Nowadays male rape and domestic abuse is acknowledged as a major stain on LGBTQ+ life: the latest statistics suggest 18% of gay men have suffered it at some time.

There are now several charities which work to support male survivors of abuse and violence. This Zoom reading is a benefit for Stay Brave, a volunteer-led charity providing support and advice to survivors.

To donate, please go Stay Brave website here

Watch LEATHER here


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