THE COLLECTIVE20thecentury528x571
in Association with
Jermyn Street Theatre

present the UK premiere

The Twentieth Century Way
By Tom Jacobson

Director: Marylynne Anderson-Cooper
Sound Design: Charles Parry

“Tom Jacobson’s heart-racing two-man show about clandestine gay life… That rare convergence of a great story with a novel form of theatricality.” -TheaterMania

Five Ovation Award nominations,
Four Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award nominations

Los Angeles 1914 – a place where modern world reality meets 19th Century bigotry. A time when law enforcement agencies are on a collision course with the clandestine and illicit gay community. In this environment, the police department of Long Beach, California hire two actors as “vice specialists” – their role “to entrap social vagrants” in a sexual act by posing as homosexual men. Lurking in public restrooms and bathhouses, they entice likely suspects into exposing their genitals, then arrest them and in so doing earn $15 a shot. Thirty-one men are arrested. At least one commits suicide.

The American Way tells the true story of a dark chapter in the history of gay rights. Two actors take on a dizzying array of characters from cops to vagrants, lawyers to hacks, bait to quarry in a work that tackles the thorny themes of persecution, secret love, sex, deception and the relationship between dissemblance and performance.

The UK premiere of this hard-hitting absurdist tragi-comedy stars James Sindall and Fraser Wall.
It is directed by Marylynne Anderson-Cooper, a member of the Young Vic Directors Programme and the Theatre503 devising company. Her recent directing and assistant directing credits include work with Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

The Collective was founded in late 2016 by a small group of RADA/AADA grads. The main focus of the company is to work collaboratively, share skill sets and co produce work with host venues. The Collective is led by actors and directors who aim to put on strong ensemble projects, where core members are either cast in the company’s shows or focus on other areas of production should no suitable roles be available. There is a particular focus on either new British writing or American plays yet to premiere in the UK, making the most of our transatlantic connection.

Contains Adult Content. Not suitable for Children under 14 years. 

Running time approx 80 minutes – no interval.

Show Times

Monday to Saturday 7.30pm
Saturday Matinees 3.30pm


£22.00 Full Price. £18.00 concessions.