A Gay Century
Peter Scott-Presland is currently writing the most ambitious, the most enormous, the most wide‐ranging piece of gay music theatre ever devised.
‘A Gay Century’ is a cycle of gay chamber operas covering the period 1900 (death of Oscar Wilde) to 2001 (first civil partnerships introduced in London experimentally by mayor Ken Livingstone). Peter originally intended that there would be one for each decade, but it is growing in the writing, and eventually there are likely to be twelve to fifteen of them, making the completed work longer than the Ring Cycle.
There is an old saying, Musicals aren’t written, they’re rewritten. This is certainly true of Wednesday Matinee, which went through three rewrites of the lyrics and a change of composer before it reached its definitive version.
By 1978,Pub Theatre Company was celebrating its fifth Anniversary. Peter Scott‐Presland decided to write a kind of portrait gallery of character songs, tailored to each member of the company, bound together by a chorus at the beginning and the end, and the whole thing making a cabaret evening, which was short enough to allow for a decent knees‐up at the end.