Scandalous Boy

by David Atfield

“it’s hugely entertaining, informative and refreshing.” — Bill Stephens, Arts Review



In the 21st Century the statue of the Ancient Roman God Antinous comes to life to reclaim his place in history. He is not just the ‘shameless and scandalous boy’, that Christian historians dismissed him as, and he’s learnt a lot about life standing on his pedestal for 2,000 years. He begins to tell us about his mortal life and conjures up the characters from his story. We discover that, as a boy, he was chosen to be trained as an eromenos, a companion to an older man, and, as he grew into manhood, he survived by selling his body to Roman soldiers. Renowned for his beauty he finds himself, at the age of 16, the lover of none other than the 50-year-old Hadrian, the Emperor of Rome. His life becomes one of great wealth and luxury but he soon realises his continued prosperity is entirely dependent on his youth and beauty, and time is ticking on both. What’s more he needs to deal with Sabina, Hadrian’s politically manipulative wife, and with Lucius, Hadrian’s former lover who jealously guards Hadrian’s heart. To make things even more complex, Antinous meets a young man, Marcellus, with whom he falls in love, and Hadrian is falling in love with Antinous. Events begin to spiral out of control, but can Antinous use his intellect, rather than just his beauty, to survive?

ISBN: 978 1 925338 08 9


"It’s hugely entertaining, informative and refreshing."

Bill Stephens, Arts Review

"It’s also not often that you get to see male nudity and sexuality portrayed so frankly, so fearlessly and so effectively on stage as in this striking production. The nudity and sexuality are matter-of-fact and necessary, rather than gratuitous and it gives a fascinating insight into another time and another way of thinking about love and sex. Best of all; it’s hugely entertaining, informative and refreshing."

Canberra Critics

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POD Sample

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Photocopy Licence and POD Order Form


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Brutal Utopias by Stephen Carleton premieres at the New Benner Theatre from 18 - 28 May!