The late playwright, actor and director, Noël Greig was a teacher, artist and gay rights activist with a tremendous sense of historical context and his plays As Time Goes By (1977) and The Dear Love of Comrades ( 1979) admirably demonstrates this. Most at home in fringe theatre, where his ambitions could be more easily realised, in 1977 he joined Gay Sweatshop, which Drew Griffiths and Gerald Chapman had founded a few years earlier, and from there became a fierce champion for gay rights.
With Griffiths, he wrote the extraordinary historical play As Time Goes which dealt with repression throughout the ages – in Victorian Britain, Nazi Germany and modern America, and this was followed shortly after by The Dear Love of Comrades, the story of the 19th-century radical socialist Edward Carpenter.
For modern audiences both plays now may seem a little “tub-thumping” perhaps but seen in the context of their period they were both revolutionary and very important statements – and ones what very much needed to be made. So this rather rare collection of these two plays is recommended for historians, cultural and otherwise, students of the theatre, anyone interested in the evolution of gay consciousness, and all people who desire a more fair and just world.