Between 1933 and 1945, an estmated 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals, of whom some 50,000 were officially sentenced. Most of these men served time in regular prisons; however, an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 of those sentenced were incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps.
Gay men suffered unusually harsh treatment in the concentration camps. They faced persecution not only from the German soldiers but also from other prisoners, and many were beaten to death. Additionally, gay men in forced labour camps routinely received more gruelling and dangerous work assignments than other non-Jewish inmates, under the policy of 'extermination through work'. SS men were also known to use gay men for target practice, aiming their weapons at the pink triangles they were forced to wear.
After the war, the treatment of homosexuals in concentration camps went unacknowledged by most countries, and some men were even rearrested and imprisoned based on evidence found during the Nazi years. It was not until the 1980s that governments began to acknowledge this episode, and not until 2002 that the German government officially apologised to the gay community.
I first discovered Bent way back in the 1980s when I was studying Drama at what is now the University of Bangor. I loved it from the first reading and it has been my ambition to direct it ever since. It is a rare piece of political theatre that sets out to educate the wider public about a much overlooked aspect of the Holocaust and helped highlight gay history and move the movement forward. It is not a peice of 'dry' history, however. It entertains as much as it educates, but it remains a major piece of twentieth century writing and I very much hope we as a company have done it justice.
- Max - Simon Gleisner
- Horst - Barry Heselden
- Rudy - David Clements
- Wolf, SS Guard - Rohaan Ahmad
- Uncle Freddie, Gestapo Officer, Kapo - Alan Buckman
- Greta, Prisoner - Thomas Coltman
- SS Officers - Matthew Moore
- Assistant Director - Carole Coyne
- Stage Manager - Jessica Osorio
- Assistant Stage Manager - Taiba Batool
- Lighting Designer - Gavin Parker
- Sound Designer - Andrew Rickinson
- Lighting & Sound Operators - Lee Ridgeway & Rachael Lovegrove
- Greta's Song, original music - Thomas Coltman
- Fight Director - Anton Krause
- Make-up - Michelle Thomson
- Set Design - Carole Coyne & Jack King
- Set Realization & build - Graham Clements & Mark Ireson
- Scenic Artist - Hazel Hindle
- Costumes - Lisa Thomas
- Props - Alan Buckman
- Production Photos - Phil Gammon
- Poster and programme design - Carole Coyne
- Publicity - Jeanette Hoile and Anthony Townsend
Some review quotes go here
Reminiscences and Anecdotes
Members are encouraged to write about their experiences of working on or seeing this production. Please leave your name. Anonymous entries may be deleted.