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Robert Fox and Alex Turner in association with Park Theatre and King's Head Theatre present the UK Premiere of

Gently Down The Stream

By Martin Sherman

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Directed by Sean Mathias
Designed by Lee Newby
Cast: Jonathan Hyde, Ben Allen & Harry Lawtey


Olivier Award Nomination: Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre - Jonathan Hyde

The Arts Desk


Theatre Weekly


Stage Review

The Spy In The Stalls

Time Out

Gay Times
Love London Love Culture



Following a critically acclaimed run at the Public Theater in New York, Gently Down The Stream makes its UK Premiere at Park Theatre.

This passionate new play by Olivier and Tony-award nominee Martin Sherman makes its UK debut 40 years after his celebrated modern classic Bent, which subsequently became a major film directed by Olivier and Tony-award nominee Sean Mathias (No Man’s Land), who directs this production of Gently Down The Stream, marking Martin Sherman’s 80th birthday.

Starring acclaimed star and screen actor Jonathan Hyde in a rare London performance, Ben Allen (Oppenheimer, West End) and Harry Lawtey (The Country Wife, Chichester Festival Theatre), the play follows the remarkably moving and brilliantly funny love story of Beau, an older American pianist living in London, and Rufus, an eccentric young lawyer. Coming of age during the 70s, Beau’s attitude to love has been seasoned by a life of loving men in a world that initially refused to allow it. Not looking for a long-term relationship, Beau is naturally cautious when Rufus unexpectedly enters his world. 

However, while the age gap feels unorthodox to Beau, it is immaterial to Rufus, who is from a new generation of gay men. Rufus has none of Beau’s doubts about the possibility of attaining happiness and love in the 21st Century and as he assimilates himself into Beau’s past and present, Beau learns to embrace Rufus as one of the most defining relationships of his life.

As generations intertwine, Gently Down The Stream reveals the journey of gay history and celebrates the men and women who led the way for equality, marriage and the right to dream.

'A deeply felt gem which deserves a West End transfer.' ★★★★★ The Arts Desk

'Delightful, elegant, charming and stunning: an exquisite night at the theatre.' ★★★★★ Boyz

'Unexpected and beautiful. The actors deliver astounding performances making the energy created on the stage highly contagious. An extraordinary piece of theatre.' ★★★★★ Theatre Weekly

 'Emotive, thoughtful and witty. A remarkable piece of theatre well worth going to see.' ★★★★★ LondonTheatre1

'Gently doesn’t so much meander into London’s Park Theatre, but gush uncontrollably, simultaneously unleashing a torrent of laughter, hurt, pain and undeniable pleasure. This astonishing production is a triumph.' ★★★★★ Stage Review

'Written from the heart with genuine feeling and soul: a journey full of laughter, tears and hopeful joy. Unforgettable.' ★★★★★ The Spy in The Stalls

'Legendary playwright Martin Sherman show’s he's still got it with this poignant relationship drama that’s well worth seeing.' ★★★★ Time Out

'It’s tender, witty, poignant. A powerful and poetic piece of theatre. Highly recommended.' ★★★★ Gay Times

'Sublime and beautiful and a piece to be savoured.' ★★★★

'This beautiful and tender love story is brought vividly to life thanks to Sean Mathias. Mesmerising from start to finish.' ★★★★ Love London Love Culture

'A delicately touching play, with a deft and delicious way with words.' The Times

'An elegant take on more than 50 years of gay life.' Evening Standard

'A touching intergenerational romance about the importance of understanding where we come from and cementing change.' The Stage

'Sean Mathias delivers a superb production. I sense a transfer but catch it now.' British Theatre Guide

Please note: This play contains strong language, smoking of herbal cigarette and flashing light towards the end of play.