Bent

by  Martin Sherman

Full Length Play, Drama  /  11m

"Powerful and provocative." - The New York Times

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    11m
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Docudrama/Historic
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Broadway, From West End
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Cutting Approved for Competition
    • Scene work
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

In 1934 Berlin on the eve of the Nazi incursion, Max, a grifter and his lover Rudy are recovering from a night of debauchery with a SA trooper. Two soldiers burst into the apartment and slit their guest's throat, beginning a nightmare odyssey through Nazi Germany. Ranked lower on the human scale than Jews, the men as awoved homosexuals, flee. Desperate and on the run, Max asks his own "discreetly" homosexual Uncle Freddie for help as the older man offers little more than suggestions on how to live, as he does, practicing homosexuality on the side. Attempting their escape, Rudy is beaten to death as Horst, another homosexual prisoner, warns Max to deny his lover. Taken to a death camp at Dachau, Max and Horst branded with the "pink triangle", hope to survive with each other for comfort and courage but it is not to be. Richard Gere created the role of Max on Broadway.
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Accolades

  • Nominee! 1980 Tony Award, Best Play
    Named among the "10 most influential postwar British plays" by Guardian UK!

Reviews

REVIEWS

"Powerful and provocative." - The New York Times

"Brilliant...an explosive, overpowering experience." - Women's Wear Daily

RELATED ARTICLES ON BREAKING CHARACTER

A Nightmare Odyssey: Spotlight on Bent
by Eliza Skidgel 
October 11, 2016

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Intense Adult Intense Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance
  • Mandatory Music/Media Fee: $15 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1940s / WWII, 1930s
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Nazi Berlin. 
  • Additional Features: Play w/ Music
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

11m
MAX - 34, homosexual "wheeler dealer" who leads a dissolute life of drink, drugs, and sporadic sex until the horrors of Nazi Germany intervene and effectively put an end to his hedonistic alcoholic life style; a tormented individual, tortured by the memory of his reprehensible actions, but never loses his basic humanity; not at all a coward, but rather a pragmatist
HORST - 20s, relatively muscular physique and a kind nature; a "pink triangle," incarcerated in the death camps of Dacheu because of his homosexuality; a sensitive man, strongly affected by Max's torment
RUDY - 30, bespectacled, homosexual dancer; rather gushy, effusive, homebody type who has a great love for Max and his precious household plants; tends to become a trifle hysterical at times
GRETA - late 30s, a man dressed as a woman in a silver dress, top hat, and cane; presents an appearance that is at once elegant and bizarre; tough, practical proprietor of a gay nightclub who entertains patrons by singing in a smoky seductive voice; Nazis' rise to power sends him back to his wife and kids
UNCLE FREDDIE - early 50s, aristocratic, well-dressed; Max's uncle, a "closet fluff"
5 GERMAN SOLDIERS - late 40s, rough menancing, intense features
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Cast Attributes

  • All Male
  • Drag performance
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)

Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

Optional Full Orchestration Available:

Piano

Violin

Vocal

Drums

Tuba

Accordion 

Contact your licensing representative for more information. 

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Authors

Martin Sherman

Martin Sherman

Bent was first presented at the Royal Court Theatre in London, England, on May 3, 1979. It was directed by Robrt Chetwyn. The play subsequently transferred to London's West End at the Criterion Theatre on July 4, 1979. The play premiered on Broadway at the New Apollo Theatre in New York City on December 2, 1979. It was directed by Robert Allan Ackerman.

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