Interview: Quentin Crisp
Theatre and Performance Studies
Quentin Crisp, raconteur, storyteller, wit, lecturer, writer, and expert on manners and image-building, is known to most people through the highly acclaimed television adaptation of his autobiography The Naked Civil Servant. Crisp is also a successful solo performer who has toured the United States and Great Britain in his one-person show An Evening with Quentin Crisp, which he has been presenting, in various forms, since he first appeared as a performer in a London public house in 1975. The show as he now performs it consists of two parts: a lecture-entertainment followed by a question and answer period. The audience is asked at intermission to write out questions on index cards which are then turned over to the performer. "I only want to make sure," says Crisp at the end of the first act, "I say the words you came to hear." After a recent performance of his show at the Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta, Quentin Crisp spoke with me about his thoughts and experience as a solo performer. The interview took place on April 23, 1986, at the Cafe Society Restaurant in Atlanta.