'In the 21st Century the statue of the Ancient Roman God Antinous comes to life to reclaim his place in history. He is not just the ‘shameless and scandalous boy’, that Christian historians dismissed him as, and he’s learnt a lot about life standing on his pedestal for 2,000 years. He begins to tell us about his mortal life and conjures up the characters from his story. We discover that, as a boy, he was chosen to be trained as an eromenos, a companion to an older man, and, as he grew into manhood, he survived by selling his body to Roman soldiers. Renowned for his beauty he finds himself, at the age of 16, the lover of none other than the 50-year-old Hadrian, the Emperor of Rome. His life becomes one of great wealth and luxury but he soon realises his continued prosperity is entirely dependent on his youth and beauty, and time is ticking on both. What’s more he needs to deal with Sabina, Hadrian’s politically manipulative wife, and with Lucius, Hadrian’s former lover who jealously guards Hadrian’s heart. To make things even more complex, Antinous meets a young man, Marcellus, with whom he falls in love, and Hadrian is falling in love with Antinous. Events begin to spiral out of control, but can Antinous use his intellect, rather than just his beauty, to survive?' (Publication summary)
Scandalous Boy premiered at the Street Theatre, Canberra on November 14, 2014, produced by The Street in association with David Atfield, and supported by the ACT Government, through ArtsACT project funding.