Sidney’s Fox’s Crime is a new play opening at Above The Stag Theatre. It tells the true story of Sidney Harry Fox, a rent boy who slept with the great and the good, committed numerous bank frauds, and was ultimately charged with the murder of his mother in a Margate hotel room.
In 1929 Fox was a con man and thief, but he was devoted to his elderly mother Rosaline. He and Rosaline travelled the country, staying in hotels without paying, while Sidney tapped wealthy aristocratic clients for funds. With the police on their trail, they booked room 66 at the Metropole Hotel, Margate, homeless and without luggage. It was the era of flappers, big jazz bands and the Wall Street crash. On the night of the crash, Sidney rushed downstairs to say their room was on fire. On the bed lay his mother. An inquest recorded a verdict of death by misadventure and she was buried.
When it was discovered that Sidney had insured her life, he was arrested and Rosaline Fox was exhumed. The evidence was purely circumstantial, until Sir Bernard Spilsbury, the great pathologist who was a celebrity of his day, and known to despise homosexuals, discovered at the autopsy something that changed the whole nature of the case. Even today it remains one of the most controversial pieces of evidence ever put forward in a court of law.
Was Sidney Fox’s crime murder, or to be openly gay at a time when it was illegal and dangerous?
The play is written and directed by Glenn Chandler, creator of Taggart, who with composer Charles Miller wrote The Pleasure Garden for Above The Stag, winner of the Off West End award this year for Best Musical Production.
Above The Stag is the only full-time LGBT Theatre in the country, and like many theatres has struggled through the pandemic. This is the first production on re-opening this year, starting the PRIDE season of new plays. Sidney Fox’s Crime is a Boys of the Empire production for Above The Stag.
Sidney’s Fox’s Crime is at Above The Stag 20th April to 7th May 2022.