Quentin Crisp's Centenary to Be Marked By Return of Resident Alien

News   Quentin Crisp's Centenary to Be Marked By Return of Resident Alien
Resident Alien, Tim Fountain's 1999 play about the late Quentin Crisp, will be revived at the New End Theatre in Hampstead, North London, beginning performances Jan. 28, 2009, prior to an official opening Feb. 3, for a ten-week season to April 5.
Bette Bourne in Resident Alien
Bette Bourne in Resident Alien

Bette Bourne, who originally played Crisp in the first production of the play at London's Bush Theatre and subsequently around the world, will reprise his performance.

Based on Crisp's life and writings, the play is set in his legendary filthy, one-room New York apartment. While waiting for the arrival of yet more visitors to his East Village home, 91-year-old Crisp reflects on life, the century he has lived through and subjects as diverse as Princess Diana, Oprah Winfrey and oral sex. Resident Alien was written with his full co-operation and with exclusive use of his New York Diaries.

The production will mark the centenary of his birth. He was born Denis Charles Pratt, on Christmas Day, 1908. In the mid-1960s, he uttered a few words on radio that led to him being invited to write his autobiography, "The Naked Civil Servant," which was turned into an award-wining film in the 1970s, starring John Hurt. A sequel for ITV1, "An Englishman in New York," also starring John Hurt, has just finished filming. Quentin Crisp described himself on his tax forms as a retired waif. He died in 1999 in Manchester, England, just as this show reached the stage.

Bette Bourne has worked with director Neil Bartlett both as the castrato-diva star of Sarrasine and as Lord Henry Wooton in The Picture of Dorian Gray. In 1995 he won the Manchester Evening News Award for his performance as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest (a credit he shares in common with Quentin Crisp). Most recently he appeared as Rock Hudson's agent in Tim Fountain's Rock at the Oval House; The Vortex at the Donmar Warehouse (for which he won the Clarence Derwent Award), Pericles at the Lyric Hammersmith, The Skin of Our Teeth at the Young Vic and as the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare's Globe. Bourne is also famous for his celebrated queer comedy ensemble Bloolips, with whom he won two Obie. He received his third Obie for Resident Alien.

Fountain's other work include his autobiographical Sex Addict, Julie Burchill Got Away, Hot Boi and Rock (the latter two of which also starred Bourne), and stage adaptations of Toby Young's book How to Lose Friends and Alienate People and Midnight Cowboy. He has also written books: "Quentin Crisp: a biography" was published in 2002 by Absolute Press, and "Rude Britannia" was published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in 2008. He also presented a documentary about the death of Quentin Crisp for Channel 4. To book tickets contact the box office at 0870 033 2733 or visit www.newendtheatre.co.uk.

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