Patrick Wilde’s famously successful play What’s Wrong With Angry? returns to the King’s Head after a successful Edinburgh run!
Patrick Wilde directs his award-winning, funny, heart-breaking and ultimately triumphant tale of courage and defiance.
When this play opened at a small fringe theatre in London in 1993 it played to six people. By the end of the three-week run, thanks to some rave reviews and word of mouth, people (including Sir Ian McKellen) were queuing round the block.
Now What’s Wrong With Angry makes its triumphant and long-awaited return to London after over 15 years playing all around the world. Hartshorn – Hook Productions and Patrick Wilde are challenging everyone to stop and think about how things once were, and how it is essential that we keep fighting for equality when there are still places where a society of oppression exists.
Even in the UK, with the BNP winning seats despite policies aimed at re-criminalizing homosexuality, Wilde’s play is as important as it was when it was first written.
As a piece of political theatre it was a huge part of the movement towards real equality for gay people. The laws started to be relaxed, but inequality persisted. Writer Patrick Wilde was commissioned to write a multiple award-winning feature film version, and the play finally made it into the West End at The Arts Theatre.
The play’s combination of politics, humour, a fantastic pumping soundtrack and a heart breaking love story has meant it has sold out almost everywhere it has played, and was described by Time Out as “popular theatre at it’s best – a real crowd pleaser”. Though it tells of a time when things in theory were much tougher for young gay people, it still stands a celebration of the human spirit and determination to triumph. This slicker, shorter version directed by the playwright himself remains a poignant reminder of how recently things were very, very different.
What’s Wrong With Angry will be on at the King’s Head Theatre, Islington, from 8Th July – 15th August.
Hartshorn-Hook Productions is one of the hottest new companies on the circuit. The team’s hard work, creativity and fresh-faced innovation has given them huge success in previous years at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a number of outstanding shows. In addition, they have run one of Brighton Festival Fringe’s biggest venues this year, with a packed and varied programme of over 100 performances. Their sell-out 2008 Edinburgh productions, garnered rave reviews and consequently a run at London’s Kings Head Theatre for boys of the Empire, also directed by Wilde – which was extended due to overwhelming demand.
When Patrick Wilde wrote What’s Wrong With Angry? the age of consent for gay men was twenty one and section 28 was on the statute books. The play, and the subsequent film version, Get Real, were part of a political movement which eventually led to the equalisation of the age of consent and the abandonment of the insidious law that prevented promotion of homosexuality as a positive life style.
Wilde has been openly gay for thirty years and has been part of huge change in the gay political, cultural and social scene. As one of the most sought after writers in TV he has made it his mission to assimilate gay characters into many main stream television shows, including Eastenders, Casualty, Holby, The Bill and Peak Practice, as well as the cult hits As If and This Life. He even managed to get two gay characters into soft-centred Sunday evening show Monarch Of The Glen.
Wilde divides his time equally between directing and writing, and remains unashamedly politically minded about gay matters. He has forthright views on the current scene, the internet, and the woeful lack of interest young gay people display about their own history. Wilde fears that complacency has set in, and we are in danger of seeing history repeat itself. As if to prove his point, the BNP have just won two seats at the European Parliament. It is part of the BNP’s agenda to re-criminalize homosexuality. His revival of What’s Wrong With Angry? is a timely reminder to a generation who don’t realise that things weren’t always this good.
Recently commissioned to develop a new TV series for BBC (which needless to say features a high profile gay character), he will also direct Scott Mills, The Musical for Radio One at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
Prospective theatre impresarios Louis Hartshorn and Brian Hook are turning heads by producing ambitious, high quality and successful theatre around the UK. Now, as they reach their 21st birthdays, they are mounting a six-week run at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington of Patrick Wilde’s acclaimed play ‘What’s Wrong with Angry’.
Their past productions have included work with ‘Taggart’ creator Glenn Chandler on his new play ‘Boys of the Empire’ in Edinburgh and London, and a spectacular production of ‘West Side Story’ on its 50th Anniversary in their home city of Manchester.
Scale has never been a problem for the ambitious pair, who have taken ‘a cast and crew of over 50 on tour and currently run a venue in Brighton with over 100 performances playing in May alone. They have 13 separate productions opening in July and August at venues across the UK. Plans for the Christmas season will be announced soon.
The future for H&H holds the production of major musicals, with two scores already marked down by the pair to begin pre-production this year.
Hot contenders for a number of awards to be announced in the coming weeks, Louis and Brian intend to be the faces of British Theatre on a global scale for years to come.
They are available from June 1st for TV, radio, magazine and newspaper interviews about ‘What’s Wrong with Angry’ and other forthcoming projects.