A Haunted Existence
By Tom Marsham
Friday 13 September | 7:30pm
(as a part of Gloucester History Festival)
Join Tom Marshman in a special performance blending creative technology, music and projection as he retraces the forgotten true story of a young local man who was arrested for gross indecency. In the early 1950s 17-year-old Geoffrey Patrick Williamson was on the Exeter to Bristol train when he approached a plain clothed railway officer. This pass lead to Williamson being arrested: on questioning, Williamson revealed the names of men he had had sex with, beginning a domino effect of 17 arrests, prison, aversion therapy and suicide.
A Haunted Existence highlights the turmoil, stigma and heartbreak of this experience by weaving together history and hearsay to tell the story of Britain’s very recent, shameful past.
“The judge said it was appalling that a town like Taunton should exhibit as many cases of homosexual crime ….The answer was not that the population of Taunton is more debased than other groups of the community, but that once vice got established it spread like a pestilence and unless held in check, threatened to spread indefinitely” – News of the World 1954
“As tongue-in-cheek as it is heartbreaking and the result is a one-man show which is quite remarkable.” Bristol Post ****
“This is a play you cannot and should not ignore.” Everything-theatre.co.uk