In 1895, Maud Durrant moved from San Francisco to Berlin, Germany, to study music. Shortly after, her brother killed two girls in the belfry of a church. Their mother told Maud to stay in Europe and change her name, lest the scandal ruin her career. Now going by Maud Allan, she became a major celebrity in Great Britain as a dancer and society personality. In 1918, in the weariest depths of WWI, she was accused by a British MP, Noel Pemberton-Billing, of being a lesbian, sadist, and German sympathizer as evidenced by her having played the title role in a private production of Oscar Wilde’s Salome. Against the advice of friends in high places, Maud sued Billing for libel. He then used the case as a platform to promote a conspiracy theory involving a secret German book listing the names of 47,000 traitors to England, all held under the thumb of homosexual German agents. While soldiers continued to fight and die in the mud of France, people back home read the latest on the salacious events of the trial. How could I resist making a play about that?