The major two-part LGBTQ masterpiece makes its West End premiere this October.
Described as “perhaps the most important American play of the century so far” (The Telegraph), Matthew Lopez’s major two-part drama, The Inheritance, transfers to the West End following its sold-out run at The Young Vic.
Spanning generations and countless interlinking lives, The Inheritance brilliantly transposes E.M. Forster’s novel Howards End to 21st century New York in an achingly tender critically-acclaimed two-part drama. Which can be seen either in one day or over two evenings.
It covers the whole gamut of gay men’s lives from bathhouses to marriage equality and adoption, questioning the co-option of our community into a mainstream that may be robbing us of our specialness, remembering battles fought that should never be forgotten and highlighting lessons that different generations should learn from each other.
The chief protagonist across both parts is Eric Glass, an ideas man who can’t just coast through New York gay life the way many of his friends can. His fiancee, an egomaniac of a writer with the fabulous name of Toby Darling, is also his polar opposite with odious traits.
Questioning what it is like to be a young gay man in New York a generation after the peak of the AIDs epidemic? What does it mean to stand on the shoulders of those who have come before you? What is owed to the future and the people around you? And how many words are there for pain and for love?
The majority of the original large ensemble Young Vic cast will transfer with the production, including: Hugo Bolton, Robert Boulter, Andrew Burnap, Hubert Burton, John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Syrus Lowe, Michael Marcus, Vanessa Redgrave, Kyle Soller and Michael Walters.
“It took me a while to figure out why I wrote the play,” explains writer Lopez. “Being a gay man was both the most joyful thing that happened to me and also the most traumatic thing that happened to me – being told that who I was was risking death and that sex was never going to be something purely pleasurable but would always carry with it a twinge of mortal danger. I needed to deal with the trauma, to face it and understand it, in order to live in the joy.
“It’s important to remember what happened to us and what was allowed to happen to us and what our community did in response to it. We decided as a community, with our allies, that we would not be left to die – that we would save our own lives. With any luck, there will not be another calamity such as the calamity faced by gay men in the 80s and early 90s, but there will always be another calamity. Life is the silence between the chaos.”
This production is poetic, naughty and unmissable. The Inheritance runs at the Noel Coward Theatre from 21st.