The Romans in Britain

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The Romans in Britain is a 1980 stage play by Howard Brenton that comments upon imperialism and the abuse of power. It was the subject of a private prosecution for gross indecency.

A cast of thirty actors play sixty roles.

Stage history[edit]

The play was first staged at the National Theatre in London during 1980, and subsequently became the focus of an unsuccessful private prosecution in 1982 by Christian morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse against the play’s director Michael Bogdanov relating to the on-stage depiction of homosexual rape.[1] This prosecution was defeated when Whitehouse's solicitor, Graham Ross-Cornes, the chief witness against Bogdanov, revealed under cross-examination that he had been sitting at the very back of the theatre when he saw what was claimed to be a penis. The prosecution withdrew after lead defence counsel Jeremy Hutchinson QC demonstrated that Ross-Cornes could have witnessed the actor's thumb protruding from his fist. The case was ended after the Attorney-General entered a nolle prosequi.[2]

Actor-director Samuel West revived the play in 2006 at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, starring Tom Mannion as Julius Caesar and Dan Stevens as Marban the Druid.


  1. ^ Mark Lawson "Passion play", The Guardian, 28 October 2005
  2. ^ Robertson, Geoffrey (1999). The Justice Game. London: Vintage. ISBN 978-0-09-958191-8. 

See also[edit]


External links[edit]