By Philip Osment

On the afternoon of Wednesday 1st February 2017 at the Park Theatre, London we presented a rehearsed reading of This Island's Mine to an invited audience. The reading was directed by Philip Wilson and presented by a cast of 7 actors:

Michael Matus, Corey Montague-Sholay, Ony Uhiara, Jo Herbert, Jane Bertish, Paul Keating and David Moorst.

Thatcher's Britain. 1987.

17 year old Luke runs away to London - away from homophobic playground slurs, headlines that scream 'Don't Teach Our Children To Be Gay' and a family who wouldn't understand him - to Uncle Martin, who he once saw with his arms around another man at a march.

In the capital, Mark is fired because of fears about colleagues working with 'someone like him’. Boyfriend Selwyn faces being beaten both by the police and at home by his own brother. Debbie battles with her son, who doesn't want to live with her and her girlfriend. And Miss Rosenblum - who once found refuge here from a terror that swept away half her family - has seen this sort of hatred and fear before.

Soon, these individual stories - of first loves and old flames, rejection and abandonment, missed opportunities and new chances - begin to intertwine.

This Island’s Mine was originally performed by Gay Sweatshop in 1988. Now - 30 years since the introduction of Section 28 banning positive representations of homosexuality - Philip Osment's passionate and lyrical play, of outsiders, exiles and refugees, is all too resonant.


Writer Philip Osment
Director Philip Wilson


Martin/Stephen/Prospero Michael Matus
Selwyn/Dave Corey Montague-Sholay
Jody/Mme Irina/Debbie/Wayne Ony Uhiara
Marianne/Maggie/Miranda Jo Herbert
Miss Rosenblum/Vladimir Jane Bertish
Mark/The Director/Frank Paul Keating
Luke David Moorst

Explore more through these related articles:

Unfinished Histories - An online archive about Gay Sweatshop

Philip Osment - Biography