The Pride, by Alexi Kaye Campbell
Monday 27th May - Saturday 1st June
The powerful debut play from Alexi Kaye Campbell, winner of an Olivier Award, the Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright, and the John Whiting Award for Best New Play.
Alternating between 1959 and 2019,The Pride examines changing attitudes to sexuality, looking at intimacy, identity and the courage it takes to be who you really are. The 1959 Philip is in love with Oliver but married to Sylvia. The 2019 Oliver is addicted to sex with strangers. Sylvia loves them both.
I first read The Pride a few years back and I knew then that I really wanted to direct it. It’s a beautifully written real and very raw play. The thing that makes it even more special is the contrast between the two time periods which shows clearly how things have changed in the way we regard sexuality.
In both time periods there are three characters called Philip, Oliver and Sylvia but they are not the same people. Their stories are different but echo each other and link in subtle ways. You may think it would show the present-day characters as being happier and more settled, but the play takes a more surprising and honest route than that.
It’s an extremely challenging play to produce and I’ve been lucky to get a great cast and backstage team who are all rising to the challenge.
Established members Joseph Bentley and Charlotte Atkinson are playing Oliver and Sylvia. Whilst recent new recruit Scott Roberts plays three very different parts. And brand-new member Nick Cousins takes on the part of Philip. All the actors have a hard task and must be very brave and true in the playing of the situations involved.
Joining me as co-director is Suzanne Buist who has bought a wonderful approach to the play and has really helped inspire and encourage the actors. Stage management is being handled by the very capable pairing of Stephen Evans and Martyn Coates. Costumes are being looked after by a new member Helen Betty Ann, ably assisted by Frankie Knight and Margaret Skeet.
The play is not an easy watch at times, although there is humour along the way, but it is an inspiring and thought-provoking piece. I don’t think of it only as a “gay play” or just about sexuality. It also speaks very honestly of what it is to be human and to feel and love, to be hurt, and to be yourself and live in a way that makes you happy.
Includes adult themes and sexual scenes.
The Pride opens on Monday 27th May and runs until Saturday 1st June at 7.45pm. There is also a matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday 1st June.
Tickets available in the usual ways, by clicking here or by calling 0844 888 0432.