Based on the life of William Hogarth (famous for his bawdy illustrations Marriage a la mode, The Rake's Progress and The Harlot's Progress) it is funny, savage, passionate, cruel, foul mouthed, sexy and at times surreal and grotesque play. In an age when owning any kind of picture - other than a religious image - was the prerogative of the rich, Hogarth stood at a turning point in history, his engravings were now available to Joe Public - with this new power came new responsibilities for the artist. First produced in 1987 by the RSC, Nick Dear said he wanted to write about sex in a time when words like 'feminism' and 'sexuality' didn't exist, to write about the unconscious world before Freud. To do so he takes lots of liberties and makes many speculations, creating a romping, theatrical cartoon but at it's core the play grapples provocatively in political and social terrain. The play contains scenes, language and or issues of an adult nature.