Kevin Elyot’s first play Coming Clean is revived for the first time in more than 35 years to headline the Queer Season at Islington’s King’s Head Theatre this summer.
The theatre’s artistic director, Adam Spreadbury-Maher, will helm the production, its first major London revival since it opened at the Bush Theatre in 1982.
The show opens in the month that celebrates the 50th anniversary since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK.
Coming Clean looks at the breakdown of a gay couple’s relationship and examines complex questions of fidelity and love. The production will headline the King’s Head Queer season which is running from August through to September.
The play is set in a flat in Kentish Town, north London, in 1982. Struggling writer Tony and his partner of five years, Greg, seem to have the perfect relationship.
Committed and in love, they are both open to one-night stands as long as they don’t impinge on the relationship. But Tony is starting to yearn for something deeper, something more like monogamy.
When he finds out that Greg has been having a full-blown affair with their cleaner, Robert, their differing attitudes towards love and commitment become clear.
In his foreword to Kevin Elyot: Four Plays the playwright said: “From 1976 to 1984 I’d acted in several productions at the Bush Theatre, and Simon Stokes, one of the artistic directors, had casually suggested I try my hand at a play.
“I presented them with a script entitled Cosy, which was passed on to their literary manager Sebastian Born. He responded favourably and, largely through his support, it finally opened in 1982 under the [new] title Coming Clean.”
Written 12 years before his most famous play, My Night With Reg, Coming Clean won Elyot the Samuel Beckett Award for writers showing particular promise in the field of the performing arts.