He is the author of: Who Was That Man: A Present for Mr. Oscar Wilde (1988), Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall (1992), Mr. Clive and Mr. Page (1996), Skin Lane (2007), "When the Time Comes; or, the Case of the Man Who Didn't Know" (short story).
Who Was That Man shows how the gay history of London in the 1890s affects Bartlett's life as a gay man in London in the 1980s. His latest novel, Skin Lane was published in London by Serpent's Tail publishing in March 2007.
He also served as Artistic Director at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith from 1994 until 2004. At the Lyric he directed productions of classic plays, which he translated or adapted. The following are some of the plays he directed and translated:
- The first English production of Jean Genet's Splendid's
- Kleist's Prince of Homburg and Marivaux's La Dispute
- His recent adaptation of Dickens' Oliver Twist
Many of his translations of classic plays have been performed throughout the world.
He will also be partaking in the Bush Theatre's 2011 project Sixty Six where he has written a piece based upon a chapter of the King James Bible.
I often think of the men who planted the orchard, and I have done so many times in the last week while surveying the damage. They must have known they would never have seen the trees mature themselves, but must have hoped that their children and indeed children‘s children might one day pick the fruit on summer evenings, and think of them as they did so. --Neil Bartlett, Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall
It was several years before I met my own Boy, my very own Boy, that I read Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall. But thank you for that book, Mr. Bartlett. In another of your books, Who Was That Man: A Present for Mr. Oscar Wilde, you quote That Man himself:Further Readings:It is quite true. Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else‘s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. — Oscar Wilde, De ProfundisAnd is this quite true? This book you wrote, this Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall, this story of Boy and O, the bar where they met, the woman who helped bring them together, the marriage they shared: have I not only read and reread it, given it to others, written about it, quoted from it, but has it also, consciously or not, served as pattern and image for my most important relationship? Has life, as Wilde so famously said, imitated art? --Philip Clark, The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered
Skin Lane by Neil Bartlett
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Serpent's Tail (November 1, 2008)
Amazon: Skin Lane
Shortlisted for the 2007 Costa Novel Award
“I read Skin Lane with one eye closed out of sheer animal terror. Then, unimaginably, it brought me to tears; what a work of art—so unexpected and heartbreaking and lovely.”—Armistead Maupin
“A powerful and complex story of sexual obsession. . . . A profoundly original meditation on thwarted desire.”—Patrick McGrath
“Skin Lane welds itself to your hands from first to last. Textured, teeming with menace and deeply moving, it is an extremely fine piece of writing.”—The Times (London)
“A fiendishly taut little psycho-shocker.”—Will Self
At forty-seven, Mr. F’s working life on London’s Skin Lane is one governed by calm, precision, and routine. So when he starts to have recurring nightmares, he does his best to ignore them. The images that appear in his dreams are disturbing—Mr. F can’t think of where they have come from. After all, he’s an ordinary middle-aged man.
As London’s backstreets begin to swelter in the long, hot summer of 1967, Mr. F’s nightmares become an obsession. A chance encounter adds a face to the body that nightly haunts him, and the torments of his restless nights lead him—and the reader—deeper into a terrifying labyrinth of rage, desire, and shame.
Part fairy-tale, part compelling evocation of a now-lost London, this is Neil Bartlett’s fiercest piece of writing yet: cruel, erotic, and tender.
Neil Bartlett is an award-winning English novelist and theater director. He has directed on numerous occasions for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall: A Novel (Plume) by Neil Bartlett
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Plume (November 1, 1992)
Amazon: Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall: A Novel
This novel takes place almost entirely in a backstreet homosexual bar frequented by a motley collection of world-weary regulars. The bar is presided over by the owner, Madame, who looks after her boys, ensuring that the haven remains inviolate. Then one day an innocent young man walks in.
More Spotlights at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels
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