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‘I have injured no man’s reputation, taken no man’s property, attacked no man’s person, violated no oath, taught no immorality.I was asked a question and answered it openly.’
Cheltenham, 1842. George Jacob Holyoake is a poor young teacher, making his way from Birmingham to Bristol to visit a friend who has been imprisoned for publishing a journal that criticises the establishment. When he makes a stop in Cheltenham to address a lecture, his words and his overwhelming commitment to speaking the truth will change his life forever. Arrested and tried for blasphemy, and separated from his starving wife and child, Holyoake is faced with the choice of conforming or staying true to his beliefs in a time of injustice and intolerance.
Based on the true story of the last man to stand trial for blasphemy in England, A Subject of Scandal and Concern was originally written for television in 1960 starring Richard Burton and Rachel Roberts, and directed by Tony Richardson, and was first seen onstage in Nottingham in the early 1960s.
A Subject of Scandal and Concern received its London premiere at the Finborough Theatre in May 2016, marking the first theatrical staging of the play in over 40 years.