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Staircase is a two-character play by Charles Dyer about an ageing gay couple who own a barber shop in the East End of London. One of them is a part-time actor about to go on trial for propositioning a police officer. The action takes place over the course of one night as they discuss their loving but often volatile past together and possible future without each other.
The playwright named his characters Charles Dyer (after himself) and Harry C. Leeds, which is an anagram of his name.
The Broadway production directed by Barry Morse opened on January 10, 1968 at the Biltmore Theatre, where it played for 12 previews and 61 performances. It starred Eli Wallach and Milo O'Shea. O'Shea was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play.
The play was adapted into a 1969 film by 20th Century Fox, also written by Dyer and directed by Stanley Donen, starring Rex Harrison and Richard Burton as the couple. The film was considered a critical and commercial failure.
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