After a sold-out premiere and three successful production runs in Hamburg’s Sprechwerk Theatre, as well as performances in Berlin, Munich, Kiel and Bremen, Ian Thomson’s play about coming out, small garden colonies and the law (§175) against homosexuality is now available as a theatre-film on DVD (with English subtitles).
“As German as it gets. The Australian writer and director Ian Thomson, draws sharp contours in his play “The Garden Fence”. The petty bourgeoisie of suburban life in a garden allotment, the horrors of the post-war past and the consequences for modern generations creates genre paintings for the stage in fascinating splendour. Paul and André, an urban gay couple have leased a small garden as a weekender on the edge of the city. Their neighbours, Marianne and Wolfgang Jäger and their families have been gardening in theirs’ for generations. Lifestyles and generations collide, especially when Paul discovers a box of documents from the previous occupant buried under the garden fence. The German governments’ upholding of the unreformed Nazi version of the law against homosexuality until the late 60s sets up renewed lines of conflict. Particularly impressive are the depth that Thomson has given the five figures: Marianne the frustrated bohemian, Wolfgang the gnarly philistine, Robert the rebellious son, Paul as the passive arbitrator and André as the camp, ueber-Homo. Although about conflict and the bitterness of post-war history, Thomson manages to bring an entertaining and often humorous story to the stage.”
Axel Limberg, a freelance journalist.
Writer & Director: Ian W Thomson
Now available on DVD