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CONTENT WARNING: Leather is not suitable for children. This performance includes sensitive subject matter including depictions of sexual and domestic violence.
Following its hugely controversial run at the Finborough Theatre in 1990, Homo Promos presents a Zoom staged reading of Peter Scott-Presland’s Leather. The reading will be available from Tuesday, 22 June to Tuesday, 20 July 2021 on the Finborough Theatre YouTube channel, and concurrently with subtitles on Scenesaver.
Phil befriends Gordon, a rape survivor, and they become lovers.
But Gordon finds himself drawn to Phil’s best friend, Terry, who is into heavy sadomasochism…
A brave and groundbreaking play about gay domestic abuse, redolent of pain and violence in all its forms, consensual and non-consensual, as physical abuse is paralleled by mental control, and the erosion of any sense of worth.
Two members of the original cast, Matthew Hodson and Keith Bursnall, appear.
The most controversial play Homo Promos ever produced, and the one which people keep asking to see again. It played to packed houses at the Finborough Theatre, despite an attempt by Whitbread, the brewery that owned the Finborough Arms building at the time to close it. Section 28, preventing the ‘promotion of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship’ was also waved at the company.
Male rape was first highlighted by Capital Gay in two 4-page centre spreads after Heaven nightclub used a rape scene as its Halloween ‘entertainment’ in 1981. Author of Leather, Peter Scott-Presland was one of the journalists who worked on that exposé, and the experience fed into the writing of the playwhich was completed in 1987, although it took three years to get a company together to stage it. When it was performed it was the first play to deal with the subject within the gay community. Many objected violently to any suggestion that it was a common occurrence. Nowadays male rape and domestic abuse is acknowledged as a major stain on LGBTQ+ life: the latest statistics suggest 18% of gay men have suffered it at some time.
There are now several charities which work to support male survivors of abuse and violence. The Zoom reading will be a benefit for Stay Brave, a volunteer-led charity providing support and advice to survivors.