Critics Circle Theatre Award winner James Fritz' drama about the Cleveland Street scandal.
In July 1889, Police Constable Luke Hanks suspects Charles Thomas Swinscow - a fifteen-year-old telegraph boy - of theft after he is found to be in possession of several weeks of wages. While being questioned, Charles admits that he earned the money working as a prostitute for a man named Charles Hammond, who operated a male brothel at 19 Cleveland Street.
This retelling of the scandal that shook England tells the story of the staff & clientele at the Cleveland Street brothel, and the government's hand in covering up the scandal to protect its prominent patrons.
“The story of the Cleveland Street scandal is compelling enough that telling the story in a simple way would have been more than enough, but Fritz’s approach with ‘The Flea’, while drawn out in places, works because it allows us to look at things from different angles, and not just because of Naomi Kuyck-Cohen’s set of misshapen furniture.”
“It’s all about management of pathos, a slower impulse, to which the play tips strongly towards the end. There is so much potential here, if only the cast can allow themselves to expand into the full shape of it.”