Love! Valour! Compassion!

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A 1994 play by Terrence McNally. [1]

The original text

The setting is at a lakeside summer vacation house where eight gay friends spend the three major holiday weekends of one summer together. The house belongs to Gregory, a successful Broadway choreographer now approaching middle age, who fears he is losing his creativity; and his twenty-something lover, Bobby, a legal assistant who's blind. Each of the guests at their house is connected to Gregory’s work in one way or another. Infidelity, flirtations, soul-searching, AIDS, truth-telling and skinny-dipping mix monumental questions about life and death with a wacky dress rehearsal for Swan Lake performed in drag.

Its off-Broadway première took place at the Manhattan Theatre Club on October 11, 1994, in a staging by Joe Mantello.

Translations and adaptations

An adaptation by Henry Mylne places the play in a South African setting.

Performance history in South Africa

1996: Presented by PACT Drama at the Grahamstown Festival in 1996, directed by Mark Graham, with Drummond Marais, Greg Melvill-Smith, Blaise Koch, Philip Godawa, Russel Savadier, Kenneth Robinson, James van Helsdingen. Designer James McNamara, lighting designer Tersia du Plessis, production manager Jacques Mulder, choreographer Christopher Kindo. After the Festival the production was staged at the Alexander Theatre in Johannesburg.

2005: Tesson Theatre, directed by Henry Mylne, starring Blaise Koch (Buzz), Rowan Cloete (Bobby), Grant Swanby (Gregory), Terence Bridgett, Stephen van Niekerk, Justin Strydom and Fezile Mpela.

2021: Directed by Gregg Pettigrew and produced by Frans Swart of Lefra Productions in the John Kani Theatre at the Market Theatre from 23 November to 12 December.


National Arts Festival programme, 1996.

Beeld, 2 August 2005.

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