17th June 2022

“Imagine you’re on an open road, stretching out for miles and miles. Nothing else except for sand on either side and mountains in the distance surrounding us, reaching up into the sky. And there we are, the two of us on our motor bikes.”

The early 1960s. Pete and Reggie are ‘leather boys’ - working-class teens with a passion for motorcycles - who meet at the Ace Cafe in North London and become friends through their involvement in a gang run by petty criminal Les.

Reggie marries his childhood sweetheart Dot - but when circumstances lead him to move in with Pete at his Gran’s house, the two men discover their feelings for each other are much stronger than mere friendship.

As they make plans for their future together, will they find the happiness they seek, or is their love doomed to end in tragedy?

Gillian Freeman's The Leather Boys (1961) - the first novel to offer an authentic portrayal of love between ordinary, working-class young men - is a groundbreaking classic of gay fiction that remains moving and compelling today. It was later made into a Golden Globe nominated film (1964), and although this retelling was heavily censored, both the novel and the film played a vital part in liberalising British attitudes towards homosexuality.

Now, Gillian’s grandson, Sam Thorpe-Spinks, has adapted the story for the stage, drawing on both the novel and the screenplay. This new version captures a moment in time with charm and honesty, that speaks to any generation, especially one that seeks to see how far we have come, and how far there still is to go.

 

Please note: this is a script-in-hand rehearsed reading.

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120 mins

15 mins

12+ yrs

 

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