Neil Bartlett - Author

About the Author

Born in 1958, Neil Bartlett has spent twenty-five years at the cutting edge of British gay culture. His ground-breaking study of Oscar Wilde, Who Was That Man? paved the way for a queer re-imagining of history ; his first novel, Ready To Catch Him Should He Fall, was voted Capital Gay Book of The Year; his second, Mr Clive and Mr Page, was nominated for the Whitbread Prize. Both have since been translated into five European languages. Listing him as one of the country's fifty most significant gay cultural figures, the Independent said "Brilliant,beautiful, mischievous; few men can match Bartlett for the breadth of his exploration of gay sensibility". He also works as a director, and in 2000 was awarded an OBE for services to the theatre.

Featured books by Neil Bartlett

Other books by Neil Bartlett

Ready To Catch Him Should He Fall

Ready To Catch Him Should He Fall

Author: Neil Bartlett Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2017

It is 3 a.m. in The City, and in a dark corner of The Bar, two lovers collide in the beginnings of a passionate and violent affair. Boy: nineteen, beautiful, ready for anyone to take him home, and 'O': the Older Man, cynical, unpredictable, and at the mercy of his personal demons. Their romance is orchestrated and observed by the owner of The Bar, Madame, who looks after her boys and ensures that their haven remains inviolate. At once a joyful celebration of homosexual love and culture, and a devastating evocation of the homophobic climate which stemmed from the 80s AIDS crisis, Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall offers a decisively contemporary recasting of the traditional love story. First published in 1990 and immediately acclaimed as the work of a bold new voice in English fiction, Neil Bartlett's powerful debut continues to shine with an ageless wisdom and wit.

Stella

Stella

Author: Neil Bartlett Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/05/2016

Thomas Ernest Boulton and Frederick William Park were two Victorian cross-dressers and suspected homosexuals who appeared as defendants in a celebrated trial in London in 1871, charged with conspiring and inciting persons to commit an unnatural offence . After the prosecution failed to establish that they had anal sex, which was then a crime, or that wearing women's clothing was in any sense a crime, both men were acquitted. Ernest Boulton (1848-1904) was the son of a stockbroker. From childhood he liked wearing female clothing, and was encouraged in his impersonations of maids and other women by his mother; he used the nickname Stella . As a young man he met Frederick William Park and the two became friends. Park, who was of similar age, was an articled clerk (law student) at a solicitor in London and his father was Master of a superior court. Boulton worked as a clerk at his uncle's stockbroking firm and subsequently at a bank, before leaving in 1866 or 1867. The two men then formed a theatrical double act, touring as Stella Clinton (or Mrs Graham) and Fanny Winifred Park, and receiving favourable press reviews for their performances. For around two years they also frequented the West End of London in both women's and men's dress, attending theatres and social events. They were ejected from both the Alhambra Theatre and the Burlington Arcade on several occasions. On one occasion they were bound over to keep the peace after being mistaken for women dressed as men. A third person involved in the affair was Lord Arthur Clinton, who had lived with Stella as husband and had exchanged love letters with Stella. On the evening of 28 April 1870 Boulton, Park and another man were seen leaving a house in Wakefield Street, near Regent Square, by a police detective, who followed them as they took a cab to the Strand Theatre. There the detective saw them meet two others, described as gentlemen , before the party entered a private box inside the theatre. A police superintendent and a police sergeant joined the detective during the performance, and Boulton, Park and one of the others, Hugh Alexander Mundell, were arrested as they attempted to leave the theatre. The others escaped. The three arrested men were subjected to intimate examination by a police doctor in order to establish whether they had had anal sex. When brought before the magistrate, Frederick Flowers, at Bow Street Magistrates' Court the next day, Boulton and Park were still wearing women's clothing, which was described in some detail in newspaper reports. Mundell claimed that he had believed that Boulton and Park were women, even though he had previously met them while they were dressed in men's clothes. He was given bail, but Boulton and Park were not. The case attracted considerable attention and a large crowd had collected in Bow Street to see the two leave in a police van. Subsequent magistrates' court hearings also attracted unusually large numbers of spectators to witness the proceedings. The trial began on 9 May 1871 at the Court of Queen's Bench, before a special jury. It was presided over by Sir Alexander Cockburn, the Lord Chief Justice. At the hearing Boulton and Park's lifestyle attracted great public interest, especially when a trunkful of their dresses was brought in as evidence. However, the unreliability of the witnesses and their physical examination by the police without higher authority swayed opinion in their favour. The prosecution was unable to prove either that they had committed any homosexual offence or that the wearing of women's clothing by men was an offence in English law. Cockburn's summing up was critical of the prosecution's case and the behaviour of the police. After deliberating for fifty-three minutes the jury found them not guilty.

The Disappearance Boy

The Disappearance Boy

Author: Neil Bartlett Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/07/2015

Reggie Rainbow has found the perfect profession for someone who likes to keep himself to himself: it's his job to make sure that some things stay out of sight and out of mind. Reggie Rainbow is an angry young man who treads the backstage corridors of down-at-heel theatres for a living. Childhood polio has left him with a limp, but his strong arms and nimble fingers are put to perfect use behind the scenes, helping the illusionist Mr Brookes to `disappear' a series of glamorous assistants twice nightly. But in 1953, bookings for magic acts are scarce, even in London. So when Mr Brookes is unexpectedly offered a slot at the Brighton Grand, Reggie finds himself back out on the road and living in a strange new town. The sea air begins to work its own peculiar kind of magic, and, as the bunting goes up in the streets outside the theatre for the Grand's forthcoming Coronation spectacular, Reggie begins to wonder just how much of his own life is an act - and what might have happened to somebody who disappeared from that life long ago. Set in the tarnished world of 1950s Variety, The Disappearance Boy is a masterful and dark tale of love lost and found; of blood, sweat - and all the other secrets that are kept hidden away behind those red velvet curtains.

The Disappearance Boy

The Disappearance Boy

Author: Neil Bartlett Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/07/2014

Reggie Rainbow has found the perfect profession for someone who likes to keep himself to himself: it's his job to make sure that some things stay out of sight and out of mind. Reggie Rainbow is an angry young man who treads the backstage corridors of down-at-heel theatres for a living. Childhood polio has left him with a limp, but his strong arms and nimble fingers are put to perfect use behind the scenes, helping the illusionist Mr Brookes to `disappear' a series of glamorous assistants twice nightly. But in 1953, bookings for magic acts are scarce, even in London. So when Mr Brookes is unexpectedly offered a slot at the Brighton Grand, Reggie finds himself back out on the road and living in a strange new town. The sea air begins to work its own peculiar kind of magic, and, as the bunting goes up in the streets outside the theatre for the Grand's forthcoming Coronation spectacular, Reggie begins to wonder just how much of his own life is an act - and what might have happened to somebody who disappeared from that life long ago. Set in the tarnished world of 1950s Variety, The Disappearance Boy is a masterful and dark tale of love lost and found; of blood, sweat - and all the other secrets that are kept hidden away behind those red velvet curtains.

Queer Voices

Queer Voices

Author: Neil Bartlett Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2012

Although his mainstream career has recently included major work for the RSC and the National, the five new pieces collected here show just how close playwright and director Neil Bartlett has stayed to the radical queer cultural roots that first brought him to prominence in the early 1980s. Commissioned to be performed in spaces as various as South London's notorious Vauxhall Tavern, Brighton's Theatre Royal and the pulpit of Westminster Abbey, these hit-and-run dramatic monologues bring all of his trademark wit and passion to bear on the issues that run throughout his work - the power of love, and the necessity for anger. Together, they make up a trenchantly personal take on what it feels like to have spent nearly thirty years standing up and speaking one's mind. The collection also includes his 2011 adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Remarkable Rocket, which uses the diamond-sharp text of one of Wilde's children's stories as the springboard for a haunting meditation on the enduring power of Wilde to inspire, dazzle and move. A follow on from his earlier collection Solo Voices, this new collection is vivid, fierce and tender, with five provocative and highly actable new works from one of British theatre's most idiosyncratic voices.

Or You Could Kiss Me

Or You Could Kiss Me

Author: Neil Bartlett Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/10/2010

Winter 2036, two old men search for a way to say goodbye after a lifetime spent together. In the perfect summer of 1971, their younger selves search for the courage to fall in love. Poised halfway between these two stories, one imagined, one remembered, their real-life counterparts bear witness to both the beginning and ending of an incredible journey.

Solo Voices Monologues 1988-2004

Solo Voices Monologues 1988-2004

Author: Neil Bartlett Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2005

A writer who can change the way people feel. --Observer Collected for the first time in print, nine monologues produced over more than a decade by one of British Theatre's most fiercely individual voices. Taken together they document the extraordinary site-specific solo performances which have run parallel to Bartlett's acclaimed work as a mainstream director and translator.

Oxidation Of Oxygen And Related Chemistry, The: Selected Papers Of Neil Bartlett

Oxidation Of Oxygen And Related Chemistry, The: Selected Papers Of Neil Bartlett

Author: Neil Bartlett Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/10/2001

The selected papers in this invaluable volume are arranged in chapters, each with an introductory essay. The purpose of the arrangement is to illustrate the process of scientific discovery at work. Neil Bartlett's field is that of powerful oxidizers. The early chapters tell the story of the oxidation of the oxygen molecule and the discovery of xenon chemistry. His work in noble-gas chemistry is summarized. Succeeding chapters show how metastable fluorides such as AgF3 and NiF4 came to be prepared at ordinary temperatures and pressures, and how they have provided the most potent oxidizers and fluorinators ever prepared.

In Extremis

In Extremis

Author: Neil Bartlett Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/11/2000

On the night of 24 March 1895. Mrs Robinson (Sheila Hancock) a society palm reader agreed to see Oscar Wilde in her London Flat. Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, 'Bosie' was urging him to sue the Marquis of Queensberry (Bosie's father) for criminal libel. But Wilde's friends, wary of Quensberry's power, were warning him to leave town. In Extremis reveals the strange turmoil of that night, as a man at the height of his fame turns to a complete stranger for advice about a potentially life-changing decision.

The Seven Sacraments of Nicholas Poussin

The Seven Sacraments of Nicholas Poussin

Author: Neil Bartlett Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/01/1999

Who Was That Man? A Present for Mr Oscar Wilde

Who Was That Man? A Present for Mr Oscar Wilde

Author: Neil Bartlett Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/1988

Sitting up reading late at night, the author reflects on the links between the homosexual of the 1980s and his counterparts of a century ago, between gay lives today and those of Oscar Wilde, his friends, lovers and acquaintances. Many books have been written about Oscar Wilde. Who Was That Man? is unique - the acting out of a love-hate relationship between Wilde and a gay Londoner of today. Neil Bartlett has grabbed history by the collar and made bitter love to it. I can think of no other way to describe this fantastic personal meditation on Oscar Wilde and the last hundred years of English homosexuality. At the very moment gay existence is endangered by disease and a renewed puritanism, Bartlett has embraced what was alien and criminal or merely clinical and loved it into poignant life - Edmund White

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