The People’s Theatre building may be closed, but that doesn’t stop us bringing great drama to our audiences!
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A young soldier returning from the trenches of the First World War recollects a love that dares not speak its name. Almost one hundred years later, a groom-to-be prepares for his gay wedding.
QUEERS is a series of monologues celebrating a century of evolving social attitudes and political milestones in British gay history, from the perspective of people whose lives it affected.
The series was commissioned in 2017 as part of the BBC’s “Gay Britannia” series to mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act which partially decriminalised sex between men over twenty-one in the privacy of their own homes in England and Wales.
Curated by actor and writer Mark Gatiss (‘Doctor Who, ‘Sherlock’), these poignant, funny, tragic and celebratory rites-of-passage stories cover major events such as the 1957 Wolfenden Report, the HIV/AIDS crisis and the legalisation of same sex marriage.
Our production of QUEERS has had a bumpy road. We originally hoped to stage it live late last year when it looked like venues may be able to open up again, but the subsequent Lockdowns meant we took the project online for rehearsals and performance.
From mid-May the rules for amateur theatres meant the team were able to log off Zoom and meet indoors (safely, in-line with the guidance). Final rehearsals were held, costumes fitted, props found and the pieces were recorded.
It’s been a new way of working for everyone involved and not without its challenges, but we are delighted to have made it happen and are grateful to the whole team for their resilience and hard work.
So before we return to live performances on our stages – currently scheduled to begin again in September – we are delighted to bring these beautifully written, hilarious and deeply affecting stories to our incredible audiences who have been so supportive since we had to close our doors last March.
INFORMATION FOR: QUEERS curated by Mark Gatiss
COMPANY: People’s Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne
DATES: Tuesday 6 – Saturday 10 July 2021
TIME: On demand
PRICE: £10 per household
AVAILABLE ONLINE: www.peoplestheatre.co.uk
The Man on the Platform by Mark Gatiss. Performed by Daniel Magee
“’A certain liquidity of the eye.’ That’s how he knew.”
It’s 1917 and young soldier Perce looks back over his friendship with a handsome captain in his regiment during the war.
The Perfect Gentleman by Jackie Clune. Performed by Alison Carr
“I went home and put it all on. It was like a sacrament. I felt wonderful.”
It’s 1929 and Cockney girl Ellen tells us the freedoms and pleasures of living life as top-hat-and-tails wearing Bobby.
Missing Alice by Jon Bradfield. Performed by Eileen Davidson
“I knew right away what he meant. It was like the room shifted.”
It’s 1957 and Alice discovers she has become the respectable cover for her husband’s affairs with men.
I Miss the War by Matthew Baldwin. Performed by Keith Wigham
“My a*se was snapping like a Venus flytrap.”
It’s 1967 and West End tailor Jack is worried about what will be lost when the new Sexual Offences Act decriminalises homosexuality.
More Anger by Brian Fillis. Performed by Adam Thompson
“And that’s when he comes out with it… I’m positive.”
It’s 1987 and actor Phil keeps getting typecast in gay roles, most of which mean his character rarely makes it to the end of the script.
Something Borrowed by Gareth McLean. Performed by Jon Carlile
“Too wordy? Too worthy? Too twee. Too angry? Am I angry? Maybe I should start a fight, set fire to something. Uncle Frank, perhaps.”
It’s 2016 and the day of his fairy tale wedding, but Stephen’s story isn’t like the fairy tales he was raised on.
Producer: Philip Bradley
Stage Manager: Lesley Heckels-Thompson
Lights and Sound: Tim Swinton
Properties: Rye Mattick
Wardrobe: Dianne Edwards
Recording and video editing: Jack Thompson and Tim Swinton