Quentin Crisp. Naked Hope. Northern Stage. 10.7.18

Replicating the full life and times of a fascinating public figure has often proved difficult on the stage.  Given obvious time restrictions, the traditional approach to a stage biography has been to either skim-over important context-setting elements of the main characters life (Evita) or make a conscious decision to focus on a short period of their life (Jersey Boys).

Choosing to tell Quentin Crisp’s story in a solo actor, first person, narrative, Naked Hope selects the sensible approach of removing peripheral characters and unnecessary scene changes to focus the show, completely, on Quentin.  It’s a tactic which works well given the rich existence of our character and also his intent to rarely share his life.   Reciting his early life as prostitute through to his later celebrity, lead Mark Farrelly does a fantastic job of telling the story of a life characterised by moments of severe expressionism and isolation.  ,  Part biography and part social commentary Naked Hope showcases the contradictions and personal philosophy of a thoroughly unique man with a thoroughly unique way of seeing the world. Well-written and loving put together this is a fine show reminding us not just the life of a true original but also the importance of true self-actualisation in a world where our complexities are often our most attractive features.

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