by Quentin Crisp

A stage adaptation by
Phillip Ward
& Brian Edward

Mr. Edward as Mr. Crisp!

City Theatre's Lester Hamburg Studio
1300 Bingham Street | Pittsburgh, PA

Tickets on sale now for the World Premiere performance. Click here.

OUTspoken. OUTrageous. OUTsider.

Quentin Crisp: The Last Word, a new play adapted from the posthumously published autobiography of author and icon Quentin Crisp, will have its world premiere at the Hamburg Studio of Pittsburgh’s City Theatre for eight performances, February 6th through 16th, 2020.

Quentin Crisp first rose to global notoriety with the publication of his 1968 autobiography,  The Naked Civil Servant, detailing his years in London as a nude model and a flagrantly unapologetic homosexual during a time when it was forbidden by law. Living as a resident alien in New York City during the 1980s, he became a champion of outsider artists including the likes of Sting and Andy Warhol, was frequently sought after for late-night talk show appearances, and empowered audiences with his one-man-show expounding his forthright views on current affairs, social manners, and personal style.

Shortly before his death in 1999, Crisp dictated his final autobiography to author and colleague Phillip Ward. Ward, who is also the executor of Quentin Crisp’s estate, published the autobiography The Last Word: An Autobiography in 2017. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Crisp’s passing, Ward began work on extracting a new stage play from the autobiography, in which Crisp is at his most candid, sharing never-before-heard insights from his past and the revelation that at age 90 he was in fact not homosexual, but rather transgender.

Performer, playwright, and long-time Crisp aficionado Brian Edward has been selected by the estate of Quentin Crisp to collaborate on the development of the script and to portray Quentin Crisp in the stage premiere. Edward is the creator of the critically acclaimed musical comedy Amish Burlesque, and was named among the top leading actors of 2002 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He is also the host of  ‘Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh’s arts and culture talk program.

Within the last two decades, there have been several plays and cabarets staged with Quentin Crisp as the subject. However,  Quentin Crisp: The Last Word is the only stage work authorized by and produced in cooperation with the Quentin Crisp Estate. It is also the only such work comprised entirely of Crisp’s own words. “The play itself allows Quentin’s wisdom and wit to reach us much in the same way they did through his books and through his own award-winning one-man show,” said Ward. “It’s like a TED Talk on how to live; applicable, appealing, and important to all.”

Ward, who resides in New York City where he serves as Director of The Quentin Crisp Archives, will participate in an on-stage Q & A session following each Sunday matinee performance, and will also be available for book signings after Thursday, Friday, and Saturday shows. Also, the grandniece of Quentin Crisp, Michèle Goycoolea Pratt will be joining Phillip Ward and Brian Edward for the post-show Talkback Q&A session of the 2pm February 16th performance of Quentin Crisp: The Last Word. 

Quentin Crisp: The Last Word directed by Spence Whale premieres at the Hamburg Studio of City Theatre, 1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203, with performances running Thursdays through Sundays, February 6 through 16, 2020. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online by visiting or by calling the City Theatre Box Office at 412-431-2489.

QUENTIN CRISP (1908–1999) is the author of the classic, flamboyantly eccentric coming-of-age memoir The Naked Civil Servant, the award-winning film version of which, starring John Hurt, made him an instant international celebrity. Crisp wrote numerous books and articles about his life and his opinions on style, fashion, and the movies, often hailed as the 20th-century Oscar Wilde for his famous aphoristic witticisms. He performed his one-man show, An Evening with Quentin Crisp, to acclaim in theaters around the world, spreading his unique philosophy on how to live a happy life. With his calculated caustic words, open homosexuality and wittily provocative attitude toward any kind of conventionality, Crisp caused a stir in conservative England during the 1950s and 1960s, and even on through the 1970s. In 1981, he moved to New York City, where he became "the face of a modern rebel." Throughout his near twenty-year tenure in Manhattan, Mr. Crisp wrote a variety of books, reviews, and appeared in several movies, most notably playing Queen Elizabeth I in Sally Ann Potter's Orlando. Quentin Crisp died on the eve of touring his one-man show in Manchester, England, on November 21, 1999.

BRIAN EDWARD is a performing and literary artist, director, playwright, and an avid scholar of art and film.  He is the author of several produced plays including the nationally acclaimed touring musical Amish Burlesque, and has been a featured guest lecturer for the Berkshire Playwrights Festival.  Locally he has performed with The REP, 12 Peers Theater, Little Lake Theater, Pittsburgh Opera, and The Pittsburgh New Works Festival, where he was named Outstanding Leading Actor in 2011 and 2012.  Brian was named among the top supporting actors in Pittsburgh by the Post Gazette in 2001, and among the top leading actors in 2002. He has served as host and emcee for numerous charitable and cultural events including the American Institute of Architecture Design Awards, and is the host of ‘Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh’s arts and culture talk magazine.

PHILLIP WARD is a consultant and researcher, archivist and curator, multimedia artist, photographer, poet, and writer. Mr. Ward was Quentin Crisp's assistant, dresser, typist, escort, and travel companion during the 1980s and until Mr. Crisp's death in 1999. As Quentin Crisp's estate executor, Mr. Ward organized the New York City memorial, "An Evening for Quentin Crisp" at Cooper Union’s Great Hall in March 2000, and co-edited the memorial tribute booklet Quentin Crisp 1908–1999. Mr. Ward is content editor and webmaster of Crisperanto: The Quentin Crisp Archives, and is co-editor of Quentin Crisp's final book, The Last Word: An Autobiography (2017) and its companion book, And One More Thing (2018)He is also the editor of Quentin Crisp in Black and White: Photographs by Martin Fishman (2017), and co-editor of RANDOM New York City: Photographs by Martin Fishman (2017)Hispoetry chapbooks include Sanctified (2006)Fractured Glances (2006)Monuments (1995)Love Notes to Miss P. (1989)Blue Skies & A Margarita (1986)Phases (non omnis moriar) (1983)Fragmented Images (1982); and Winged Flights (1980). Phillip Ward's curatorial and participatory contributions include exhibits at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2009), Leslie-LohmanMuseum of Gay and Lesbian Art (2017), Museum of Arts and Design (2013), Mix NYC Queer Experimental Film Festival (2010), Envoy Enterprises (2010), Broadway Gallery (2010), Santo's Party House (2009), Fourth Street Photo Gallery (2001), Emerging Collector (2000), Exit Art (2007), and Blue Sky Project (2008). His writings, photographs, and artwork have appeared in an array of magazines, journals, books, and Internet, including group exhibitions in New York, London, and Joetsu City, Japan, and in private collections. Born in Paintsville, Kentucky, Phillip Ward lives in New York City.

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