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  • Finished 1 – 18 June

    Hoxton Hall

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    A new theatre piece by Neil Bartlett

    Alone in a silent room, a man waits for a knock on his door. As the minutes tick by, he remembers a life filled with daring and laughter, with parties and heartbreak – a life spent searching for the courage to truly be himself.


    Inspired by the true story of the strange life and lonely death of Mr. Ernest Boulton – one half of the infamous Victorian cross-dressing duo Fanny and Stella – STELLA is an intimate meditation on the fine art of keeping one’s nerve as the lights go out. Performed amidst the newly restored splendours of one of London’s oldest surviving music-hall interiors, it is a theatrical love-letter to a truly remarkable person.


    What does it mean to be old enough to remember the bad old days, but still young enough to want much more change from the world? What does it mean to feel that rules are only there for breaking? Looking back at Thomas E Boulton’s scandalous and ever-changing life – and at his subtly beautiful face – reminds me that the real question is not what category you fit into, but how brave you are. Neil Bartlett


    ...has a melancholic power'

    ★ ★ ★ ★

    Time Out

    I can’t give Stella anything other than full marks as I can’t think of a single thing to improve upon

    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Everything Theatre

    beautiful but psychologically raw, driven through with splinters of emotional truth.

    ★ ★ ★ ★

    Whats On Stage

    STELLA is a LIFT co-commission with Brighton Festival and Holland Festival.
    Main image — Fred Spalding, reproduced by courtesy of Essex Record Office
    Other image – Matthew Hargraves