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‘The Pride’ play at Wallis Annenberg Center is erotic time warp on attitudes toward sexuality

Actors Augustus Prew, left, and Matthew Wilkas play characters in the award-winning play “The Pride” that are caught in an erotic time warp that spotlights contrasting societal attitudes toward love and sexuality. Photo: Kevin Parry.

BEVERLY HILLS —  The three characters in the award-winning play “The Pride” are caught in an erotic time warp that spotlights contrasting societal attitudes toward love and sexuality.

“The Pride,” which premiered in London in 2008, had its Los Angeles debut earlier this month at the Wallis Annenberg Center, where it plays through July 9. Having its debut during National LGBT Pride Month is no coincidence and adds to the story’s relevance.

In 2010, Variety’s David Rooney applauded “The Pride” as “provocative.”

One of the more provocative points to emerge from Alexi Kaye Campbell’s contemplative debut play about emotional isolation, love and the evolution of gay identity is that liberation is not always freeing.”

In story one, set in 1958, Philip, an estate agent, is married to Sylvia, an author for children’s books. When Sylvia invites her illustrator, Oliver, over for dinner, Phillip is both attracted and taken aback by Oliver’s advances. Confused by his feelings, Phillip internalizes his true feelings for fear that his reputation will be ruined.

Fast forward 50 years into 2008 for story two. Philip lives with his boyfriend, Oliver, who continually damages their relationship with his addiction to casual sex.  In this story, Sylvia is their mutual friend who they turn to for comfort and support.

Written by former actor turned playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell, “The Pride” received the Laurence Olivier Award, the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright and the John Whiting Award for Best New Play in 2009.

About the author

Stephanie Thai

Hailing from San Francisco, Stephanie Thai is a Southern Californian transplant. She spends her time writing, reading, and eating wherever she can, though not in that order. On her downtime, Thai takes 12-hour cat naps, hikes urban trails, and frequents travel websites to entertain her expensive hobby of traveling the globe.

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