As one often does on birthdays, I’ve been trying to pin down an elusive detail from many years in the past. In the summer of 1989 I saw a play in a London theatre, set on a Greek island. In the first act, set several decades ago, a young American writer had a homosexual affair with a local chap. In the second act, set in the present day, the same guy, much older, is being cared for in his declining years. The play ends with a volcano exploding, and the old man, who has problems finding the right words, uttering the immortal line “The apricot is erupting!”
Well, the power of Google has tracked it down. Just doing a search on “greek island” play homosexual volcano pulls a New York Times review of a more recent production of Michael Sherman’s “A Madhouse in Goa” as the first hit. Investigating a bit further, I find to my surprise that the production I saw starred Rupert Graves and Vanessa Redgrave. I have seen fewer than half a dozen London shows, and am amazed that I had forgotten the star quality of the production. What I do remember is that it really wasn’t a very good play, and at one point Larry Lamb (playing the writer in the second act) started visibly giggling at the end of one of his scenes.
Anyway, just thought you would like to know. The birthday link (which I had also forgotten) is that the second act of the play explicitly references the Chernobyl disaster, which of course happened on my 19th birthday.