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Friday, June 8, 2012
Bent-Another Award Winning Film
Bent is a 1979 play by Martin Sherman. It revolves around the persecution of gays in Nazi Germany, and takes place during and after the Night of the Long Knives.
The title of the play refers to the slang word "bent" used in some European countries to refer to homosexuals. When the play was first performed, there was only a small trickle of historical research or even awareness about the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. In some regards, the play helped increase that historical research and education in the 1980s and 1990s.
The play starred Ian McKellen in its original 1979 West-End production, and Richard Gere in its original 1980 Broadway production. In 1989, Sean Mathias directed a revival of the play, performed as a one-night benefit for Stonewall, featuring Ian McKellen, Richard E Grant, Ian Charleson, and Ralph Fiennes. After receiving critical acclaim, Mathias directed a full run in 1990, with Ian McKellen, Paul Rhys, and Christopher Eccleston, which won the City Limits Award for Revival of the Year.
In 1997, Martin Sherman adapted Bent into a film of the same name, which was directed by Sean Mathias.