Controversial drama comes to Rugby Theatre

Paul Vickers (left) and Ben Handforth in Rugby Theatre production of Bent
Paul Vickers (left) and Ben Handforth in Rugby Theatre production of Bent

A story of forbidden love set against the backdrop of the Holocaust comes to Rugby Theatre.

Martin Sherman’s 1979 play Bent opens on Monday May 9.

The show director Nathan Dowling said: “Rugby Theatre has a commitment to put on both popular and cutting edge shows, and to be challenging in some of its productions.

“I’m proud to be directing a theatre piece that is raising serious and uncomfortable issues, but within the context of a brilliantly written play. I hope that the audience will have a fantastic experience and learn about a part of history they may not be aware of.”

Newcomer Paul Vickers plays the part of Max, previously portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen and Richard Gere.

He said: “I love any sort of theatre that’s controversial and makes an audience think. This is a very truthful and powerful play.

“It has been a very intense play to put together. I go home after rehearsals and slump in front of the telly – and then an hour later I realise I’ve no idea what I’ve been watching because I’m still thinking about the play.”

Ben Handforth, who plays Rudy, has starred in The History Boys, La Cage aux Folles, and was most recently seen in Hairspray last summer.

He said: “I’m used to comedy and musicals, but this is very different. I have to say it’s the most important play I’ve ever been in. I hope we can take the audiences along with is so they feel it as intensely as we do.”

The show runs from Monday May 9 until Saturday May 14, excluding Thursday.

Tickets cost between £9 and £12 and they are available from the Rugby Theatre box office by calling 01788 541234, or by visiting www.rugbytheatre.co.uk.