The Inheritance

Directed by Stephen Daldry; Associate director: Justin Martin

5 words: Epic, funny, remarkable, instant classic.

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(Photo by Simon Annand)

We naturally tend to choose works of art with themes that are close to our environment or community, and it wouldn’t necessarily be a first choice for a BAME migrant female like me to watch a play about gay men in America.  Which is the very reason why I’m so glad I went to see The Inheritance. I always saw homosexuality as a personal choice; the Inheritance educated me on seeing beyond the personal, to the social and cultural history of gay men, while also telling an incredibly moving story of love, friendship and the politics of the excluded. It’s an epic 7 hours divided in 2 parts following the intertwined relationship of young lawyer Eric Glass, writer Toby Darling, the doppelgangers Adam (an actor) and Leo (a sex worker), Trump supporting real estate mogul Henry Wilcox, and Henry’s partner Walter, the owner of a countryside  house which served as a refuge and hospice at the height of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. The collision of their lives is overseen and encouraged by the spectral presence of E.M. Foster, whose novel Howard’s End is a narrative influence, but whose own closeted homosexuality re-inscribes the theme of what is inherited from one generation of gay men to the next. It’s impressive how a play that has so many complex relationships manages to achieve such multi-layered dramaturgy and to hold the audience for so long. The Inheritance is universal and can be relatable to the stories of any community or people who has suffered exclusion from society. People like me, and from all walks of life, should go and watch it.  

– by Nina Barthes

The inheritance is running until the 19th of May at the Young Vic Theatre

Tickets here