Girl Stroke Boy
  • Video Box Art
  • DVD Box Art
  • Attendees' Pamphlet
  • Movie Theater Presskit
  • Films and Filming Article
  • Movie Stills
  • Video Caps
  • Film Clips from YouTube
  • Review/Synopsis
  • Girlfriend (1970) and Girl Stroke Boy (1971)

    program for Girlfriend by David Percival
    program (6½" × 9½") for Girlfriend,
    a play by David Percival (UK, 1970)

    207k | 812k
     
    magazine advertisement for Girl Stroke Boy by Bob Kellett
    magazine advertisement for Girl Stroke Boy,
    a film by Bob Kellett (UK, 1971)

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    Girlfriend
  • Apollo Theatre Program
  • Newspaper Reviews
  • Film Clips from YouTube

    Peter Straker
  • Short Biography
  • Discographical Biography
  • Records
  • Stage, Television and Film



  • Girl Stroke Boy, a 1971 film by Bob Kellett

    The 1971 British film Girl Stroke Boy (British for "Girl Slash Boy," as in "Girl/Boy"), directed by Bob Kellett, is based on a 1970 British play called Girlfriend by one David Percival. (I have found very little about this play on the internet. Should anyone reading this have any information about this play, please e-mail me about it.)

    The character around which this film revolves, one Jo Delaney, is depicted as having a dubious gender. Back in 1971, this would have most likely been codified as a form of homosexuality, but today, this would be deemed transgender. The question is, what kind of transgender. Is the character of Jo Delaney an androgyne? Is sie a transgenderist? Is sie transsexual? Not enough clues are given, but this character's being West Indian makes hir "other" respecting sexuality and race, and so this scenario can be said to be a take on the 1967 American film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

    In Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, a white woman named Joanna 'Joey' Drayton (played by Katharine Houghton) brings her African-American boyfriend (played by Sidney Poitier) to meet her white parents (played by Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn). Contrast the names Joanna and 'Joey' with that of Jo from Girl Stroke Boy. Coincidence? Perhaps.

    In Girl Stroke Boy, a young man named Laurie (less equivocably named Lorn in the play Girlfriend), who had recently spent some time in a mental institution, brings his new West Indian girlfriend Jo to meet his parents. Both parents are cultured, with the father a college professor and the mother a novelist, so they are not taken aback by Jo's race -- but Jo's gender is another matter.

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    Girl Stroke Boy Video Box Art | back to Index

    American VHS
    77k | 135k
     
    American VHS
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    UK-based distributor
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    Danish VHS
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    Danish VHS
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    British VHS
    232k

    [copy from the back cover of the American VHS video:]

    . . . A SOPHISTICATED COMEDY FEATURING A NEW STYLE ROMANCE . . .

    Lettice and George, middle class & white, prepare for the arrival of their 30 year old bachelor son Lauree and his new girlfriend Jo. Jo, the daughter of a West Indian High Commissioner, arrives in unisex clothes and an Afro haircut, creating doubt about her sex. A series of comedic events follow as Lettice and George try to determine Jo's true sex. After Lauree confesses that they are married, the question still remains unanswered. Is it a girl or boy?

    RUNNING TIME: Approximately 85 minutes.

    [approximation of the copy from the front cover of the Danish VHS video:]

    "LIKE A CHILD LOVES BEST" or perhaps "STRAIGHT CHILD(EN) LOVES BEST"

    "They didn't say farewell to a son -- they got instead a -- what???"

    [approximation of the copy from the back cover of the Danish VHS video:]

    "LIKE A CHILD LOVES BEST" or perhaps "STRAIGHT CHILD(EN) LOVES BEST"

    "It is always [exciting] and somewhat nerve-wracking to be a parent when the son comes home and presents his latest, and it is certainly that for school principal George Mason (Michael Hordern) and his wife Lettice (Joan Greenwood), but it turns out that the daughter-in-law is a guy, and the family comes apart at the seams! Up till now everything that the son Laurie did was wrong. He had the wrong clothes, the wrong hair, the wrong opinions and the wrong friends -- and now this!

    A [rollicking? outrageous?], funny, [sexy?] comedy."

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    Girl Stroke Boy DVD Box Art | back to Index

    Since Girl Stroke Boy is currently in the public domain, the following DVD from modcinema* is listed for those who wish to inquire about it:

    modcinema* DVD
    601k

    [copy from the back cover of the DVD (the part of the description in red was taken from a section of this web page)]:

    GIRL STROKE BOY (1971 UK)

    $16.99

    Directed by Bob Kellett [who released Our Miss Fred, starring female impersonator Danny La Rue, in 1972.]
    Starring: Joan Greenwood, Michael Hordern, Clive Francis, Peter Straker [and Patricia Routledge as Pamela Havendon]
    Genres: Comedy, Drama, Gay, Based On Play, British
    86 minutes | Full Screen | Color | English

    The straightlaced parents of a young boy who has, until now, shown no interest in the opposite sex, are surprised when he comes home with androgynous girl/boy from the West Indies. This is a comedy of manners, somewhat akin to Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, but in place of a black man, we get a black transgender woman (or male-born androgyne; it is unclear). As such, it was and is way ahead of its time. From a play called "Girlfriend" by David Percival. Sir Michael Hordern's performance as George Mason is alternately understated and over-the-top, but most of all howlingly funny.

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    Girl Stroke Boy Attendees' Pamphlet | back to Index

    front of pamphlet
    172k
     
    back of pamphlet
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    left inside page of pamphlet
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    right inside page of pamphlet
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    [copy from the left inside page of the pamphlet:]

    CAST

    Lettice: JOAN GREENWOOD
    George: MICHAEL HORDERN
    Laurie: CLIVE FRANCIS
    Jo: STRAKER

    CREDITS

    Producers: NEDSHERRIN and TERRY GLINWOOD
    Director: BOB KELLETT
    Production Supervisor: PAT GREEN
    Director of Photography: IAN WILSON
    Assistant Director: ALLAN JONES
    Camera Operator: BOB RICKERD

    Continuity: TILLY DAY
    Sound Recordist: CHRISTOPHER MOORE
    Art Director: SEAMUS FLANNERY
    Make-up: GEORGE BLACKLER
    Hairdresser: RAYMOND GOW
    Wardrobe: BRENDA DABBS
    Editor: BRIAN SMEDLEY ASTON

    [copy from the right inside page of the pamphlet:]

    THEME

    Whether or not there was some room for disagreement between either long-suffering school head George Mason (MICHAEL HORDERN) and his wife Lettice (JOAN GREENWOOD) about their son Laurie (CLIVE FRANCIS), or whether united they simply argued with their friends about him, the boy was cause for dissension.

    There was his dress, his hair, his ideas, his friends - especially his friends.

    George was one of those who was certain that his son had had to have his head examined -- from the inside. What surprised him more than anything else was the fact that Laurie was now on his way home for what could be termed a family reunion, bringing 'a friend' . . .


    Length: 7,950 ft.       Running Time: 86 mins.       Certificate: "X"Eastmanncolour [sic]

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    Girl Stroke Boy Movie Theater Presskit | back to Index

    front of presskit
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    back of presskit
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    [copy from the front of the presskit:]

    SYNOPSIS

    Lettice Mason's home counties house is surrounded by snow. Inches deep it stretches away into a winter landscape which is bleak and chilly. Inside the house, however, the temperature is boiling. Something has gone wrong with the central heating - in fact George Mason, Lettice's husband hit it before going off to teach at the local school where he is headmaster and she has not been able to get a plumber or an electrician to come out to mend it. What is more, having had new burglar-proof locks fitted to all the windows in the house she has lost the key and the atmosphere is becoming tropical and unbearable.

    To make matters worse Lettice has asked friends to dinner. Her thirty year old son Laurie, who has recently recovered from a breakdown has at last announced his intention of bringing home a girl friend. Lettice and George have taken the announcement that she is the daughter of a West Indian High Commissioner in their stride and Lettice is anxious to flaunt this reassuring development in her son's sex life to her neighbours Pamela and Peter Havendon and a girl who has always had a crush on Laurie - Liz. Faced with the appalling heat Lettice rings the Havendons to warn them not to dress too warmly. Pamela decides on a caftan and promises to put Peter in Bermuda shorts. Meanwhile George returns from an exhausting day at school (a sit-in, in the bogs and the master teaching religion lost his faith in the middle of the synoptic gospels). He pours himself a drink, realises that water and whisky are equally hot and protests about other guests on Laurie's first night home. Lettice insists that Laurie will want to see his friends now that he is better and they begin to discuss his illness and how serious it was. Lettice is inclined to think he was just tired and overworked. George feels that it was worse than that: but George, as usual, is not allowed very much say inside his own home. Lettice is a romantic novelist and the idea of Laurie's coloured guest has set her off on an idea for a new book which sounds suspiciously like the Cinderella story reworked for black people in a hot country.

    At the same time Laurie and Jo Delaney are speeding towards the house in a crowded railway apartment. Suddenly what looks like a young man opposite starts to give birth to a child and his supposed "girlfriend" in beads and a long loose caftan helps to deliver. They are a unisex couple and the wife looks a good deal more male that the husband. The delivery is successful, they all celebrate with a nip of brandy from the ticket collector's hipflask and Laurie and Jo leave the train to make their way through the snow to the house.

    Lettice and George are dressing. They have got on to the thorny problem of whether Laurie had ever shown any interest in girls before and Lettice is defending him vigorously against George's quizzical enquiries. Before they are ready the door bell rings and they rush to greet the youngsters. The bedroom door has stuck because of the heat and by the time they get to the top of the stairs Laurie has let himself in. Lettice throws herself into his arms and when their greeting is over she and George look around for Jo, who emerges from the kitchen. Their faces fall. There is immediate doubt as to whether Jo is a girl or a boy. Unisex clothes and an Afro haircut increase the doubt in their minds. Lettice peers through her spectacles and scribbles a note to George

    "Is it a man". [sic] She decides that at all costs the Havendons must be prevented from witnessing the spectacle of her son bringing home a boy instead of a girl. The kids go up to change. The atmosphere is not lost on them. They wonder if they should have come. Downstairs Lettice quarrels with George about Jo's femininity or lack of it and when the Havendons and Liz arrive at the front door George is is [sic] forced to scare them away by refusing entrance and making weird noises through the letter box.

    When the children come downstairs and kiss contentedly in the doorway of the living room Lettice's shame and confusion are complete. Throughout an uncomfortable dinner she tries to make George ask Jo if she is a boy but George cannot bring himself to do it and they all go to bed with the question still not put.

    Upstairs Lettice checks the lavatory after Jo's visit and her suspicions are partly confirmed by the fact that the seat is up. Jo and Laurie discuss the situation in Jo's bed and then go downstairs to make love in the cooler surroundings of the kitchen; in front of the open refrigerator. The tensions of the evening don't make it easy and their tempers fray. Then Lettice, who has been eavesdropping, interrupts them before they can get started. The young people decide to get out of the hot-house through the attic trap door and breathe the fresh snowy air. They take skis and go. George and Lettice retire for uneasy sleep.

    In the morning the tension continues and when Laurie and Jo go to the village pub, again escaping via the roof, Lettice forces a reluctant George to phone Jo's parents. The Delaneys are amazed to be telephoned. Their puzzlement increases when they hear that Laurie is a boy. They thought that Jo was with a girl friend. Lettice now decides to rifle Jo's case for clues and she believes the worst when she finds a bible inscribed "To Joseph, our beloved son". Just as she is about to walk out of the house in disgust Laurie and Jo return and Lettice and George make a final attempt to convey their embarrassment to the children. Jo explains that the bible is her brother's but Lettice is hardly convinced. A call from Jo's parents who are now equally puzzled and anxious increases the tension which is only resolved when Laurie suggests that he and Jo are engaged, indeed on second thoughts, married. Lettice hardly knows what to believe, but George accepts the escape route gleefully. At the same moment he notices that the temperature has fallen. The heater has run out of oil. Joyously he pulls open the door and they breathe the cool fresh air. The nightmare appears to be over. Lettice despatches a bitchy call from Pamela Havendon who had spotted Jo in the pub for the lunchtime drink and they all decide to go off together for lunch nearby. At the last moment Laurie wants to shave - "So" says Jo, "do I". There is consternation. "No", she says, "I mean I need hot water". She also asks if she can call Lettice "Mother".

    "Ask your father", says Lettice.

    "Ah, well," says George. "We're not so much losing a son as gaining a.........!

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    Girl Stroke Boy Material from Films and Filming, September 1971 | back to Index

    front cover
    cover to Films and Filming, September 1971
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    page 9
    full-page for the film
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    page 12
    page with the two posters
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    page 58
    page with four stills from the film
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    blow-up of image 1 from page 12
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    blow-up of still 1 from page 58
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    [copy from page 12 ("Foot Fencing" is part of a column called "In Camera"):]

    Foot fencing

    A report in Campaign said that Bob Kellett's Girl Stroke Boy had run into trouble with the Advertising Viewing Committee, over one of their advertisements (see illustrations).

    'The trouble was caused by the third ad -- which was to have shown the two pairs of feet together in what Aquarius art director Rick Harle describes as "an inverted missionary position". The Advertising Viewing Committee, which censors all cinema posters for X Certificate films, thought this was too suggestive, and got the agency to change the final ad to one showing the two pairs of feet side by side'.

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    Girl Stroke Boy Movie Stills | back to Index

    Bordered Stills
    L to R: Straker, Francis,
    Greenwood, Hordern
    99.2k
     
    Greenwood, Hordern, and
    Straker (in foreground)
    104k
     
    Michael Hordern and
    Peter Straker
    89k
     
    Michael Hordern and
    Joan Greenwood
    109k

    Clive Francis, Straker,
    and Michael Hordern
    106k
     
    Clive Francis and
    Straker
    81.6k
     
    Joan Greenwood and
    Michael Hordern
    103k
     
    Clive Francis, Straker,
    and Joan Greenwood
    118k
    Borderless Stills
    Joan Greenwood
    as Lettice Mason
    215k
     
    Straker
    as Jo Delaney
    182k
     
    Michael Hordern as
    George Mason, Straker
    204k
     
    Clive Francis, Straker,
    and Joan Greenwood
    240k

    Clive Francis as Laurie
    Mason and Straker as Jo
    211k

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    Girl Stroke Boy Video Caps | back to Index

    screen cap 1
    the film's title image, near the beginning
     
    screen cap 2
    screenplay credit

    screen cap 3
    adaptation credit
     
    screen cap 4
    the final image of the film, before the credits

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    Girl Stroke Boy Film Clips from YouTube | back to Index

    clip 1
    Mr. & Mrs. Mason meet Laurie's friend Jo
     
    clip 2
    Mr. & Mrs. Mason in the kitchen, discussing Jo

    YouTube's Description of Film Clips 1 & 2

    clip 1 ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cxPF6vN6Fc ):

    This is an early scene from the 1971 UK film, "Girl Stroke Boy" (British for "Girl Slash Boy," as in "Girl/Boy"), directed by Bob Kellett. In this scene, Laurie Mason (a man) takes his West Indian girlfriend Jo Delaney to meet his parents, Lettice(!) and George Mason.

    This is a comedy of manners, somewhat akin to "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," but in place of a black man, we get a black transgender woman (or male-born androgyne; it is unclear). As such, it was and is way ahead of its time. From a play called "Girlfriend" by David Percival.

    Sir Michael Hordern's performance as George Mason is alternately understated and over-the-top, but most of all howlingly funny. I first encountered this very funny man as Senex in the 1966 film version of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."

    clip 2 ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlQO-HM7wrQ ):

    This is a relatively early scene from the 1971 UK film, "Girl Stroke Boy" (British for "Girl Slash Boy," as in "Girl/Boy"), directed by Bob Kellett. In this scene, the parents, Lettice(!) and George Mason, have an argument in the kitchen about their son Laurie's choice of girlfriend, the West Indian Jo Delaney.

    clip 3
    Mr. & Mrs. Mason talk about Laurie and Jo
     
    clip 4
    the funniest scene: Mr. Mason commits a faux pas

    YouTube's Description of Film Clips 3 & 4

    clip 3 ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpKtU4sw2yw ):

    This is a late scene from the 1971 UK film, "Girl Stroke Boy" (British for "Girl Slash Boy," as in "Girl/Boy"), directed by Bob Kellett. In this scene, the mother Lettice(!) Mason, argues with her husband George Mason, in the guestroom where their son Laurie's choice of girlfriend, the West Indian Jo Delaney, has been staying, while Laurie and Jo are outside playing in the snow. Lettice goes through Jo's suitcase and discovers a Bible therein. This scene is very telling and reveals George's true feelings about the situation.

    clip 4 ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LBKwe6uqio ):

    This is a scene from near the end of the 1971 UK film, "Girl Stroke Boy" (British for "Girl Slash Boy," as in "Girl/Boy"), directed by Bob Kellett. In this scene, Mr. Mason, prodded by Mrs. Mason, tries to get her son Laurie and his girlfriend Jo to admit to being a same-sex couple, but Mr. Mason is too shy, while Laurie and Jo are too inscrutable.

    Mr. Mason's attempts at evading the subject and his major gaffe at the end are hilarious.

    Sir Michael Hordern's performance as George Mason is wonderful here, and we get to see a bit more of Jo Delaney, played by Straker, here, as well. Even Joan Greenwood, as Lettice Mason, shines here, as someone determined to get to the bottom of a mystery, even if it requires going through a surrogate, which just happens to be her husband. She does an amazing job of putting words in Mr. Mason's mouth. Clive Francis, who plays Laurie, takes an ostentatious turn, as he conveys incredulity, flippancy, and even a smidgeon of bombast.



    photo from The Clive Francis Files: The Official Site for Clive Francis


    Girlfriend, a 1970 play by David Percival

    Apollo Theatre Girlfriend Program | back to Index

    program for Girlfriend by David Percival
    program (6½" × 9½") for Girlfriend,
    a play by David Percival (UK, 1970)

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    program biographies of Girlfriend playwright David Percival and director Vivian Matalon
    program biographies of Girlfriend playwright
    David Percival and director Vivian Matalon

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    program pic of Girlfriend playwright David Percival
         David Percival, who is thirty years old, was born and 
    educated in Carlisle and took a degree in English at Durham.  He 
    has taught at a number of schools in England and in the Sudan; 
    during the last six years he has been teaching at the Granfell 
    School in Aldgate.  "Girlfriend" is his first play to be 
    produced.
     
    program pic of Girlfriend director Vivian Matalon
         Vivian Matalon studied acting in New York under Sanford 
    Meisner and Martha Graham, also at the Neighbourhood Playhouse.  
    In 1960 he directed his first West End play, "The Admiration of 
    Life" at the Arts Theatre, and has since directed many 
    productions including "Season of Good Will", "The Chinese Prime 
    Minister", "The Glass Menagerie", the Noel Coward trilogy "Suite 
    in Three Keys" and "After the Rain", which he also directed on 
    Broadway in 1967.

    Girlfriend Newspaper Reviews | back to Index

    review of Girlfriend by David Percival in The Sunday Times, 22 February 1970
    review of Girlfriend by David Percival
    in The Sunday Times, 22 February 1970

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    review of Girlfriend by David Percival in The Stage, circa March 1970
    review of Girlfriend by David Percival
    in The Stage, circa March 1970

    375k | 387k
    
    (1) The Sunday Times, 22 February 1970
    
    Scandal and concern
    THEATRE . HAROLD HOBSON
    
    LAST WEEK London ought to have discovered a new young dramatist 
    of notable promise.  This is David Percival, whose first produced 
    play, Girlfriend, appeared at the Apollo Theatre, and got pretty 
    much the same reception as Harold Pinter's " The Birthday Party " 
    in 1958.
    
         " Girlfriend " is a piece of midsummer madness set in a 
    particularly snowbound December.  In the Masons' house in the 
    country the central heating and the windows behave with such 
    perversity that the one cannot be turned off and the others 
    cannot be opened.  In the resulting tropical heat no one's 
    judgment is quite sane.  When the Masons' son, Lorn, who has 
    remained a bachelor till the age of thirty, brings home as his 
    fiancée someone dressed rather ambiguously, Lettice and George 
    Mason, but especially Lettice, are in just the right unnerved 
    condition to let their imaginations take off into the most 
    alarming suspicions.
    
         Such a theme, which is firmly founded in the facts of modern 
    life as seen in the King's Road, is liable to make me feel 
    uncomfortable, but Mr Percival handles it with enviable 
    lightness.  He makes many excellent jokes against horror of the
    middle class when faced with the unusual, jokes that Margaret 
    Leighton (whose beauty and pathos I have always admired) handles 
    with the expertise, the delicate gradations within carefully 
    controlled range, of a great comedian.  She is as marvellous to 
    look at as she is amusing to hear.  Her companions, John 
    Standing, Alan MacNaughtan and Michel des Barres, play with an 
    equal finesse.  They exploit the humours of embarrassment and 
    mutual misunderstanding (for Lorn and his fiancée have not the 
    remotest idea what fantastic notions have got into their elders' 
    heads) with the conviction that comes only from perfect 
    professional ease.
    
         Mr Percival is new to the West End, and there are mistakes, 
    such as the telephone call, but his play is neatly constructed, 
    wittily written, rooted in contemporary life, and consummately 
    acted.  Vivian Matalon has directed it adroitly, cunningly 
    implying that the story is not quite what it seems by making his 
    actors talk about the heat without showing any signs of feeling 
    it.
    
         Perhaps it is not surprising that in some quarters the play 
    has been received with cries of outrage.  England is still 
    Victorian at heart, fearing the appearance of scandal more than 
    the reality.  As Macaulay said, there is nothing quite so 
    ridiculous as the British people in a mood of moral indignation, 
    for then they have an infallible talent for seeing every bush a 
    bear.  But it would be a great pity if Mr Percival were to become 
    the discouraged victim of this national aberration.
    
    
    (2) The Stage, circa March 1970
    
    Margaret Leighton shines in brilliant new comedy
    By R.B. Marriott
    
    IT IS EXTREMELY, indeed sweltering, hot in the charmingly modern 
    home of George and Lettice Mason.  The heating has gone wrong; 
    not in the usual way of fading away, but by increasing every 
    minute.  And nothing can be done about it.  Nothing can be done, 
    either, about Lorn Mason's friend, whom he brings to meet his 
    parents.  To George and Lettice the sex of the friend, Jo, is, to 
    say the least, ambiguous.  They incline to opt for the visitor 
    being a boy.  All this is an excellent start to " Girlfriend," at 
    the Apollo, a first play by David Percival.  The development 
    though slight is adroit and highly amusing.
    
         The torrid atmosphere of the Mason house, while providing 
    material for some of the light witty fun, is an ingenious way of 
    creating atmosphere for the exotic sexual implications of the 
    comedy.  Within this extraordinary atmosphere, blazing away in 
    mid-December with snow falling outside, the extraordinary 
    personality of Jo and Lorn's already revealed leaning towards 
    homosexuality, become perfectly normal.  Which, I take it, is the 
    point of " Girlfriend."  It is the persons and their relationship 
    that matter, not the particular sex or kind of sex involved.  Boy 
    can meet boy just as normally as boy meets girl.
    
         The father, a schoolmaster, is easy-going, ready to take 
    things as they are if they seem all right.  No need to probe too 
    deeply.  Mother, middle-class to her finger tips, is intolerant, 
    doesn't want to lose her son to anyone, girl or boy.  The wiles 
    Lettice Mason uses in her efforts to discover the true sexual 
    identity of Jo, and at last to come to some sort of grip with a 
    situation that once horrifies and fascinates her, are finely 
    devised and manipulated.
    
    THE CHARACTERS
    
         All the characters steadily engage one's interest, although 
    I would have liked them to have been drawn with more depth and 
    colouring.  The dialogue is a delight to listen to: gently 
    comical, always perfectly in character, dotted with surprises, 
    and richly intelligent.
    
         As Lettice, Margaret Leighton gives a brilliant performance,
    light as air but firmly wrought, witty in every gesture, word and 
    look, entrancingly funny as the character becomes more and more 
    serious about her investigation into Jo's personality.  Alan Mac 
    Naughton as George is splendid too, providing his own riches of 
    comedy playing, and, along with Miss Leighton, giving a shining 
    lesson in timing and unforced authority.  John Standing, I 
    thought, made Lorn rather a dull fellow; it would be better if he 
    used his charm to greater and more precise effect.  Michel des 
    Barres, long haired, sharp featured, in clothes which might be 
    worn by either sex anywhere in town, is ideally cast as Joe being 
    neither too feminine or too masculine and always seeming quite 
    natural, never a scrap bizarre.
    
         "Girlfriend" has been directed with a keen eye for its 
    values by Vivian Matalon, in a striking setting by Carl Toms.
    
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CAST ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                 " GIRLFRIEND "
         Play by David Percival, presented 
    by Michael Codron at the Apollo on 
    February 17.  Designed by Carl Toms; 
    lighting by Robert Bryan; stage manager, 
    Martin Beckwith.
    Lettice Mason ....... Margaret Leighton
    George Mason ........ Alan MacNaughton
    Lorn Mason .......... John Standing
    Jo Delaney .......... Michel des Barres
              Directed by Vivian Matalon
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    From an e-mail from David Percival, dated Monday, July 18, 2011, after
    I'd erroneously listed the Stage review as having come from a magazine:
         "I forgot to say that The Stage is newsprint.  It is the 
    weekly paper consulted by those looking for a job in the theatre 
    or those offering work.  It advises what is in production, what 
    is waiting for a theatre, and does reviews of each new play that 
    opens.  As my producer said at the time, "The Stage is useless as 
    publicity for it has only a tiny readership compared with the 
    national daily papers".  There was an excellent review by Hilary 
    Spurling in The Spectator, in March '70, but I no longer can find 
    it.  I wonder if it exists on the web.  I might try and see if I 
    can find it."


    photo 1 from Girlfriend stage play by David Percival, 1970
    from the stage play Girlfriend by David Percival,
    from The Stage, circa March 1970

    210k | 357k
     
    photo 2 from Girlfriend stage play by David Percival, 1970
    from the stage play Girlfriend by David Percival,
    from The Michael Des Barres Official Website

    107k | 84k


    Peter Straker

     on break with co-star Helen Chappell (who played Jeannie in Hair) from rehearsal of the play Mother Earth, 
which was held at the Y.W.C.A on Great Russell Street on August 7th, 1972
    on break with Helen Chappell,
    Mother Earth rehearsal, 1972

    340k
     
    Left to Right: Elton John, Peter Straker, and Freddie Mercury
    Elton John, Peter Straker and Freddie Mercury,
    from sometime in the late 1970s

    384k
     
    Peter Straker with David Bowie, circa 1979
    Peter Straker and David
    Bowie, circa 1979

    102k

  • Biography of Diamond Management client Peter Straker: http://diamondmanagement.co.uk/index.php/artists/bio/peter_straker
  • Peter Straker Discography at Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/artist/Peter+Straker
  • peter straker | Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/peter-straker [often includes Freddie Mercury material]

    Short Biography of Peter Straker | back to Index

  • Peter S. Straker was born in Jamaica on November 7, 1943.
  • He starred as Hud in the original production of the play Hair in 1968.
  • His first 45 single, Breakfast In Bed / The Right To Cry was released in 1969.
  • His first film appearance was in Girl Stroke Boy in 1971.
  • His first LP, Private Parts, was released in 1972.
  • Freddie Mercury produced Peter Straker's second LP, This One's on Me, in 1977.
  • Peter Straker played Commander Sharrel in the Doctor Who episode arc, Destiny of the Daleks, in 1979.
  • Freddie Mercury and Peter Straker appeared in drag together in Mercury's "The Great Pretender" video in 1987.

    Discographical Biography of Peter Straker | back to Index

    Peter Straker - Discography (composed February 1997 by Unknown) *Try www.dresscircle.co.uk

    Records Recorded by Peter Straker | back to Index

    LP cover to Private Parts
    Private Parts LP
    (RCA Victor, 1972)

    36k
     
    LP cover to This One's on Me
    This One's On Me LP
    (EMI, 1977)

    38k
     
    LP cover to Changeling
    Changeling LP
    (EMI, 1978)

    63k
     
    LP cover to Real Natural Man
    Real Natural Man LP
    (EMI, 1979)

    57k

    CD cover to Holding On
    Holding On CD
    (ACM Records, 1993)

    263k
     
    CD cover Peter Straker's Brel
    Peter Straker's Brel CD
    (AIS Records, 2013)

    254k

    Albums
  • Private Parts (LP) RCA Victor, 1972
  • This One's On Me (LP) EMI, 1977: produced by Freddie Mercury
  • Changeling (LP) EMI, 1978
  • Real Natural Man (LP) EMI, 1979
  • Holding On (CD) ACM Records, 1993 [only 1000 copies made]
  • Peter Straker's Brel (CD) AIS Records, 2013

    If This Was the Last Song 45 front sleeve
    If This Was the Last Song
    (Polydor Germany, 1970)

    78k
     
    Easy to Be Hard 45 front sleeve
    Easy to Be Hard
    (Polydor Norway, 1971)

    118k
     
    The Spirit is Willing 45 front sleeve
    The Spirit is Willing
    (RCA Victor, 1972)

    101k
     
    Ragtime Piano Joe 45 front sleeve
    Ragtime Piano Joe
    (EMI, 1977)

    103k

    Late Night Taxi Dancer 45 front sleeve
    Late Night Taxi Dancer
    (Fonogram, 1980)

    47k
     
    Zoo New 45 front sleeve
    Zoo New
    (Rocket Record Co., 1982)

    298k

    Singles
  • Breakfast In Bed / The Right To Cry (7", Single) Polydor 56345, 1969 [the A-side is from the musical Hair]
  • I Never Thought I'd Fall in Love / Birdie Told Me (7", Single) Polydor, 1969* [B-side written by Maurice Gibb (cf. the Bee Gees)]
  • If This Was The Last Song / Easy To Be Hard (From The Musical Production "Hair") (7") Polydor Germany 2058005, 1970 [cf Carousel EP]
  • Carousel / A New Day (7", Single) Polydor Canada 2058 039 7, 1970?* [cf. Carousel EP]
  • Easy to Be Hard / Listen Babe (7", Single) Polydor Norway 2058 111, 1971* [cf. Carousel EP]
  • Sail On, Sweet Universe / God's Country (7", Single) UK RCA 2268, 1972* [the A-side is from the play Mother Earth]
  • Peter Straker / The Hands of Doctor Teleny - The Spirit Is Willing (7", Single) RCA Victor 2163, 1972
  • Don't Take That Away / When Love Was Hard To Come By (7", Single) RCA 2358, 1973 [the B-side is from the Private Parts LP]
  • We Were / Looking Out My Window (7", Single) RCA Victor 2468, 1974
  • From the Underground / Love Motion (7", Single) UK RCA LPBO 5011, 1974* [printed as "From the Underworld" on the disc]
  • Touch Me / We Had It All (7", Single) UK PYE 7N 45486, June 27, 1975* [the A-side is from the play The Rocky Horror Show]
  • Valentino / Ada (7", Single) UK PYE 7N 45542, 1975*
  • Ragtime Piano Joe / The Saddest Clown (7", Single) EMI 2700, 1977 [from the This One's On Me LP]
  • Jackie / I've Been to Hell and Back (7", Single) UK EMI 2758, 1977* [from the This One's On Me LP]
  • Believer / Queen of the Self-Service (7", Single) UK EMI 2853, 1978* [the A-side is from the Changeling LP]
  • Late Night Taxi Dancer / Real Natural Man (7", Single) Fonogram, 1980; The Rocket Record Company XPRES 35, 1980
  • Zoo New / I Can't Help It (7", Single) The Rocket Record Company, 1982

    Carousel 45 rpm EP front sleeve
    Carousel
    (Polydor Portugal, 1970)

    140k
     
    Late Night Taxi Dancer CD EP front sleeve
    Late Night Taxi Dancer
    (CRI-LEX Records, 2011)

    194k

    EPs
  • Carousel / Easy to Be Hard b/w If This Was the Last Song / A New Day (7", EP) Polydor Portugal 78027, 1970?*
  • Late Night Taxi Dancer (Radio Version) / Late Night Taxi Dancer (Album Version) / Real Natural Man (CD) CRI-LEX Records, 2011*

    * indicates a release not listed at the Discogs site.
    cf. means compare to or compare with.

    Peter Straker on Stage, on Television and in Film | back to Index

    Stage
  • Hair [West End] London Production, 1968-1969 -- as Hud
  • Mother Earth [The Round House] London, opened Wednesday, September 20, 1972 -- the lead role
  • The Rocky Horror Show [Chelsea Classic Cinema or King's Road Theatre] UK, 1973 -- as Frankenfurter
  • Pilgrim: A Musical Trip [Old Vic Tour] 1974 – 1975
  • Tommy [Queen's Theatre] London, opened Tuesday, February 6, 1979
  • The Wiz [Crucible Theatre] Sheffield, ended October 18, 1980
  • Measure For Measure [National Theatre] started March 24, 1981 -- as Lucio
  • The Phantom of the Opera [UK Tour] National Tour, 1985
  • Julius Caesar [New Vic] Bristol, 1986 – 1987 -- as Cassius
  • Blues in the Night [Piccadilly Theatre] Westminster, September 23-July 28, 1988
  • The Wicked World of Bel Ami [London Fringe] Original London Production, 1989
  • Hot Stuff [Cambridge Theatre] London, 1993
  • [Stephen Sondheim's] Assassins [New End] London, opened Thursday, July 10, 1997
  • Mary And The Shaman [produced by Babel Theatre] premiered at BAC, December 1998 [written for Straker]
  • The Rat Pack [The Beck Theatre] Hayes (Middlesex, UK), January 2000 -- as Sammy Davis, Jr.
  • One Love [Bristol Old Vic] April 2001
  • Hold On [Theatre Royal] Bath, 2001 – 2002
  • Sammy [Theatre Royal Stratford] London, opened Monday, November 11, 2002
  • Red Riding Hood [Theatre Royal] 2003 -- as Lorenzo the Wolf
  • High Heel Parrotfish [London Fringe] Original London Production, 2005 -- as Kitty Caress) [a play about drag queens]
  • From The Hart [New End] London, opened Tuesday, June 12, 2007 -- as Richard Rodgers
  • Soul Traders [Edinburgh Festival] 2008 -- as Tom
  • Cinderella [Hackney Empire] London, November 26, 2011-January 8, 2012 -- as Cinderella's dad Baron Hardup
  • The Glorious Ones [Landor Theatre] March 6-April 7, 2012 -- as Pantalone
  • Peter Straker's Brel [St. James Theatre] London, 2013 -- as Jacques Brel

    Film
  • Girl Stroke Boy -- as Jo Delaney (UK, 1970)
  • The Chastity Belt -- as an arab (UK, 1971)
  • Alicja -- as the Mad Hatter (Poland/UK/Belgium/USA, 1982) a daft disco musical takeoff on Alice in Wonderland
             ○ Click here to watch the Straker segment of the film (the tune "Talk Small")
             ○ Soundtrack and Region 2 DVD available as Alicja: Bromski & Seroka and Bromski & Seroka: Alicja
  • Morons from Outer Space -- as the Choir Lead Singer (UK, 1985)
  • What's Your Name 41? -- as Lou Kaminesta (UK, 2005)

    Television
  • Village Hall (series): Dancing in the Dark -- as Adrian (UK, 1974)
  • Centre Play (series): Commonwealth Season: Trinidad - Home Sweet India -- as Taj (UK, 1976)
  • Doctor Who (series): Destiny of the Daleks -- as Commander Sharrel (UK, 1979)
  • The Gentle Touch (series): Melody -- as Jeremy Miller (UK, 1980)
  • Connie (series): Episodes #1.1-1.4 & 1.6 as Dev (UK, 1985)
  • The Orchid House (series): Joan; Stella; The Return of the Master -- as Lilipoulala (UK, 1991)
  • Urban Gothic (series): Deptford Voodoo -- as Bartender (UK, 2000)
  • Casualty (series): To Thine Own Self Be True -- as Lou Keeley (UK, 2008)

    Video
  • The Great Pretender by Freddie Mercury (UK, 1987) -- features Peter Straker in drag
  • Jack and the Beanstalk -- as the Second Troll King (voice) (UK, 2000)


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