The Flea
Cover image for The Flea

11 October - 2 December 2023

The Flea

11 October - 2 December 2023

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“Gloriously surreal new drama about a queer Victorian scandal that rocked the nation”

Anya Ryan, Time Out

July 1889, London. Charlie Swinscow is arrested for theft. He had more cash on his person than a poor lad like him is expected to have.

(But he didn’t steal. He just let a
lord have a go between his legs.)

A retelling of the Cleveland Street Scandal that shook England—from the streets of Bermondsey to the halls of Buckingham Palace—featuring a flea, a horse, a detective, a queen, a pimp, a god, and Charlie, the telegraph boy who knelt before the Crown.

From writer James Fritz (★★★★ Ross & Rachel, ★★★★ Parliament Square) and directed by The Yard’s Artistic Director Jay Miller (★★★★★ The Crucible, ★★★★★ This Beautiful Future).

The Yard Theatre

“A haute couture historical fever dream... a dissection of an entire era”

Grace Spencer, The Reviews Hub


“Wildly imaginative punk retelling of the Cleveland Street Scandal.”

Tom Wicker, The Stage

"There are few playwrights working in Britain today whose work is as slick and unsettling as James Fritz’s."

Exeunt Magazine

“So ambitious, imaginative, and unashamedly unfettered by convention.”

Alun Hood, WhatsOnStage

“James Fritz is the most singular of writers, and Jay Miller is the most singular of directors. So, this is a pairing that should pay dividends.”

Lyn Gardner, StageDoor pick of the week.

"James Fritz is such an exciting playwright. It marks a return to directing for Jay Miller, whose productions often feel both delicate yet daring."

Miriam Gillinson, The Guardian

Cast & Team

Connor Finch
  • Arthur Somerset
  • Henry Newlove
Norah Lopez Holden
  • Queen Victoria
  • Emily Swinscow
Scott Karim
  • Abberline
  • Hammond
  • Gladstone
Séamus Mclean Ross
  • Charlie Swinscow
  • Bertie Prince of Wales
Sonny Poon Tip
  • Hanks
  • Barwell
  • Euston
Photography by Marc Brenner.
The Yard Theatre
The Yard Theatre

The Yard Theatre