Jarman & Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope double bill

Jarman & Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope
Tuesday 7 March 2023 to Saturday 11 March 2023
Venue: Wilton's Music Hall

Mark Farrelly (Howerd’s End) is back in London this spring, playing two gay icons.

Following Farrelly’s residency at the King’s Head Theatre in summer 2022, he returns with his double bill of solo masterpieces – Jarman and Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope, both at Wilton’s Music Hall this March.

The shows take inspiration from the lives of well-known arts icons Derek Jarman and Quentin Crisp, who refused to conform to the status quo. Jarman and Crisp were unapologetically brilliant, and always remained true to themselves throughout eras of discrimination, inspiring huge numbers of people, and future LGBTQ+ generations.

Jarman (7 – 10 March 2023) is a vibrant solo show directed by renowned cabaret performer Sarah-Louise Young. The play is a daring reminder of the courage it takes to truly live while you’re alive, taking audiences on a journey from Dungeness to deepest, brightest Soho and into the heart of one of our most iconoclastic artists.

Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope (8 – 11 March 2023) is a glorious, witty and uplifting celebration of a genuinely unique human being, and of the urgent necessity to be yourself. It is directed by EastEnders star, Linda Marlowe, well known for her 25-year collaboaration with Steven Berkoff.

Mark Farrelly said in a press statement: “Playing these two legends has been the challenge of my acting lifetime, and the chance to perform their stories in tandem at Wilton’s Music Hall, inarguably one of the most atmospheric venues in the country, is utterly thrilling. It’s an absolute privilege to bring both men’s message of hope and courage to a world which seems to need it more than ever.”

More about Derek Jarman

DEREK JARMAN (1942 – 1994): Decadence is the first sign of intelligence Derek Jarman is best known as a film-maker, painter, gardener at Prospect Cottage, activist and writer. His influence remains as strong as it was on the day AIDS killed him in 1994, but his story, one of the most extraordinary lives ever lived, has never been told – until now. Farrelly grew up fearing Jarman, having watched him dying in the most harrowing way in newspaper photographs and on television. Jarman was one of the key public faces of the AIDS pandemic because of his courageous declaration of his illness in the late 80s, but to a teenage Farrelly, he was a dangerous image of contagion. It wasn’t until Farrelly read Jarman’s diaries in 2018 that he saw the true Derek Jarman – vibrant, beautiful, witty, fun and relentlessly inspiring – and began to explore his films, writing, paintings and hypnotic garden in Dungeness. Farrelly created Jarman in 2021 with the support of Derek Jarman’s estate, and after the Wilton’s residency the play will be touring the UK and internationally. Farrelly’s performance in Jarman was recently nominated Best Solo Performance at the Off-West End Awards. Following the Tuesday 7th March performance of Jarman, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will join Mark Farrelly on stage to speak about his friendship with Derek Jarman, and then take questions from the audience.

More about Quentin Crisp

QUENTIN CRISP (1908 – 1999): Ask yourself this – if there was no praise or blame, who would I be? The hugely acclaimed solo play Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope has toured all across the UK and Off-Broadway. The show depicts the legendary Quentin Crisp at two distinct phases of his extraordinary life. Firstly in the late 1960s in his filthy Chelsea flat, where Quentin surveys a lifetime of degradation and rejection. Crisp was repeatedly beaten for being flamboyantly gay as early as the 1930s, but also ostracised simply for daring to live life on his own terms. The second part of the play transitions the audience to New York in the 1990s. Here a much older Quentin, finally embraced by society, regales the audience with his sharply-observed, hard-earned philosophy on how to have a lifestyle: “Life will be more difficult if you try to become yourself. But avoiding this difficulty renders life meaningless. So discover who you are. And be it. Like mad!”

Website & Booking

Venue Information

Area: East London
1 Graces Alley, London, E1 8JB
Underground & Trains: Tower Hill, Aldgate East, Shadwell
Buses: D3, N551, 15, 115, 135, D3, N15, N550
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📷 Main photo: Jarman - Mark Farrelly

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