A brand new socially distanced open-air production of Fanny And Stella, a musical with Book and Lyrics by Glenn Chandler, the creator of ‘Taggart’, and Music by Charles Miller, is to be staged as the premiere production at The Garden Theatre in the newly refurbished beer garden of The Eagle, 349 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, London, SE11 5QY from Monday 3 – 25 August
This hugely entertaining, relentlessly entertaining romp is based on bizarre events and real characters in Victorian London.
Ernest Boulton and Frederick William Park were two young men who, in 1871, were put on trial in London for dressing as women and conspiracy to commit sodomy, a felony at the time. They dressed up as women (and were very good at it) for amateur theatricals, but when the show was over, and sometimes when there wasn’t even any show, as ‘Fanny and Stella’ they would frequent places of entertainment in the West End where men encountered men for sex and male prostitutes plied their trade.
Park and Boulton were acquitted – an amazing victory for the time when sexual acts between men carried a sentence of two years – primarily because conspiracy could not be proved. Or perhaps it was because one had a father who was a judge, and the other a mother who swayed the court with her tears. Upon their acquittal, Park and Boulton – as Fanny and Stella – along with their theatre company, take their story on the road. They hire a venue for “one night only” to tell their amazing true story of their lives, their trial, and their sensational acquittal. But are they in an ungiving age putting themselves on trial a second time?
The cast is Jed Berry as Ernest Boulton/Stella and Kane Verrall as Frederick William Park/Fanny, with further casting to be announced.
It has a first class creative team led by director Steven Dexter, with musical staging by Nick Winston, musical director Aaron Clingham, designer David Shields and casting by Anne Vosser. It is produced by Peter Bull for LAMBCO Productions.
Peter Bull said: “We are taking baby steps as we venture into the brave new world of open-air socially distanced performances. We are only performing three shows a week initially but we aim to increase this after a successful launch.”
Please note: face masks or coverings must be worn throughout the performance by socially-distanced audience members.
Fanny and Stella will run Monday August 3 – Sunday 23 August with performances on a Monday and Tuesday. Tickets are on sale here.