Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope ★★★★ Seabright Productions (online) | Jul 22 - Aug 1, 2021


Quentin Crisp was a paradox as he both rebelled against and represented the society he was born into. In later life, he was criticised for his "old-fashioned" views about gay people and issues, but Crisp never sought to be a spokesman for a movement. He sought to be himself and the political critique of him has always seemed rather unfair. Curiously however, the persona he created to be "himself" not only exposed him, making him a victim of society's ridicule, it also became a means to protect him from society and acted to cloak that very self. The dichotomy of being both naked and a civil servant permeates Crisp's self presentation. He exposed and concealed, rebelled and conformed. He relished his role as gadfly and delighted in turning the conventional approach to all subjects on its head. His aphorisms cunningly reversed accepted wisdoms. Crisp was a rebel not a revolutionary, but he lived his life his way and not by the standards of others past or present. Mark Farrelly finds both hope and courage in Crisp's example, and his performance successfully captures his conviction and the paradox that was Quentin Crisp.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Steve Ullathorne.

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