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Bette Bourne Returns to the London Stage in Fountain's RESIDENT ALIENT

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Quentin Crisp (immortalised on TV by John Hurt in "The Naked Civil Servant"), Bette Bourne returns to the London stage with his acclaimed, multi award-winning performance in Tim Fountain's "Resident Alien".

A 10-week season opens at the New End Theatre, Hampstead, on Wednesday 28 January and will run to Sunday April 5.

Based on Quentin Crisp's life and writings, "Resident Alien" is set in his legendary one-room filthy 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 Quentin's full co-operation and with exclusive use of his New York Diaries. It provides a fascinating insight into the wit and wisdom of the original English "stately homo".

"Resident Alien" premiered at London's Bush Theatre with Bette Bourne in the starring role in November 1999. The production transferred to New York in January 2001 where it played a sell-out three-month season and won two Obie Awards (performance and design). The show was revived for the Edinburgh Festival in 2001, where it won the Herald Angel award for performance, prior to a second London run in Christmas that year and a three-month UK tour in the spring of 2002. "Resident Alien" toured to Australia for the Sydney Mardi Gras and Adelaide Festival, selling-out both cities in 2002. It completed a highly successful American tour in 2005. "Resident Alien" was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as a tribute to Quentin Crisp immediately after his death.

Quentin Crisp was reluctantly 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 acted in most of the leading theatres in Britain. Over the past decade he has been lauded for his work with 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 "Rock" at the Oval House; "Vortex" at the Donmar Warehouse (for which he won the Clarence Derwent Award), "Pericles" at the Lyric Hammersmith, "Skin of Our Teeth" at the Young Vic and as the Nurse in "Romeo and Juliet" at Shakespeare's Globe. Bette is also famous for his celebrated queer comedy ensemble Bloolips, with whom he won two OBIES. He received his third OBIE for Resident Alien.

"Resident Alien" was writer/director Tim Fountain's first major success. He hit the headlines in 2004 when his one-man show, "Sex Addict" opened at the Edinburgh Festival before transferring to the Royal Court in 2005. During the show he solicited sexual partners on-line and the audience got to choose who he had sex with. Fountain's other plays include "Julie Burchill Is Away", starring Jackie Clune, "Hotboi" starring Bette Bourne, and the stage adaptation of Toby Young's book, "How To Lose Friends and Alienate People" starring Jack Davenport. In 2006 Fountain adapted the Oscar-winning movie "Midnight Cowboy" for the stage starring Con O'Neil and Charles Aitken. In 2008 his play "Rock", starring Bette Bourne, premiered at the Oval House. He has also written books. Quentin Crisp: a biography was published in 2002 by Absolute Press. "Rude Britannia" was published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in 2008. He also presented a documentary about the death of Quentin Crisp for Channel 4.

Performances are Tuesday - Saturday evenings at 8:30 pm and Sunday at 3:30 pm. Tickets are £18 and can be purchased from the box office (0870 033 2733) or online at: www.newendtheatre.co.uk.



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