This month, a play not seen in London for more than half a century, will return to the stage in the capital. Staircase by Charles Dyer (1928 – 2021) was a West End and Broadway hit at its premiere in the late 1960s. And Two’s Company, who excel at bringing back forgotten masterpieces, is proud to be shining a light on this comedy during Pride Month.
So, what’s Staircase about? It’s the early 1960s. Charlie and Harry are hairdressers in Brixton and have been together for 20 years. Quick humour and dreams keep them afloat. But same-sex relationships are illegal and Charlie has been arrested in a pub while sitting on a man’s knee. Simmering underneath the banter and hilarious mockery, Charlie anxiously awaits a court summons. And Harry has his own troubles – his hair is rapidly falling out, a disaster for a hairdresser.
Running through this laugh-out loud comedy is the sadness of those unable to live openly because the law and the public condemn them to an undercover life. Change may be in the air but, for these two, it might as well be a hundred years away. Staircase is a clarion call for a more accepting and generous society. For a world where people can be who they are in their hearts; where love is love and that love is championed in all its forms.
This production of Staircase stars Paul Rider (Chicago, A Woman of No Importance, West End; French and Saunders, BBC) and John Sackville (An Inspector Calls, National Theatre; The Crown, Netflix). And you can catch it at the Southwark Playhouse this summer. Southwark Playhouse is one of London’s leading off-West End theatres and prides itself in supporting the next generation of theatre makers.
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When: 23rd June – 17th July 2021
Where: Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6BD
£: Tickets cost £14 (Suitable for ages 14+)
More info: www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk