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BEAUTIFUL THING Presented As Part of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras

Who doesn't remember what it was like to fall in love for the first time?

BEAUTIFUL THING Presented As Part of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras

Who doesn't remember what it was like to fall in love for the first time? Or to believe that happiness is still possible, even when life has dealt you some pretty shitty cards?

Jamie is 15, shy, and bullied at school. He lives with his single mum Sandra on a run-down London housing estate, but she's preoccupied with dreams of a better job and her new, younger lover, so barely notices that her sensitive, Cagney & Lacey-loving son has a massive crush on Ste, the football-mad boy next door.

When Ste is badly beaten by his alcoholic father and Sandra offers him shelter, the two boys grow closer and gradually fall in love. But do they have any chance of happiness, in their tough, working-class world?

When Jonathan Harvey wrote this tender, open-hearted play about two damaged boys and the love that heals them, the age of consent for gay sex in the UK was still 21, it was illegal to 'promote' homosexuality in schools, and civil unions and same-sex marriage weren't even on the radar.

Yet, nearly 30 years on, it still holds remarkable power, because what it explores is timeless: discovering your sexuality, finding love and acceptance, fighting your demons, surviving against the odds, being an outsider, and the importance of family and community.

What better way to celebrate Mardi Gras than with this funny, irreverent, deeply human coming-of-age love story, an urban fairy tale for our times.

"Deliciously upbeat, a swirling mix of emotion and hilarity" The Guardian

We're welcoming back director Mark G Nagle for his third Mardi Gras production at New Theatre, following on from last year's Angry Fags, and F*cking Men in 2018.

"I've had a love affair with this play for over 25 years," says Mark, "because it echoes many moments in my own life. I lived in the UK during Clause 28, inequality of Age of Consent, and years of marching for full LGBTQI+ rights within the law. The demonstrating hasn't ceased and in some respect the law is still an ass. Directing this play is a continuation of that struggle.

"I also saw the very first production, at the Bush Theatre in 1993, and it was magical for me as a gay man to see such an honest presentation of young love against the odds, which was also funny and recognisable.

"I hope our audiences will be deeply moved by the machinations within the relationships in the play, as well as delighted by Jonathan Harvey's comedic language. Coming out is still full of pitfalls - let's not be fooled that even in our more enlightened times it's a walk in the park."

The production team includes David Marshall-Martin (set), Mehran Mortezaei (lighting), Jaymes Julian Wilson (sound), Glenn Braithwaite (associate director and costume coordinator) and Michael Booker (assistant director), with cast members Caspar Hardaker, Julia Kennedy Scott, Will Manton, Bayley Prendergast and Hannah Zaslawski all appearing at New Theatre for the first time.

Running 2 February - 6 March 2021. Learn more at Bookings at

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