Round-up of news and treats and other interesting things – Pride special!

2017 marks 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality. The Sexual Offences Act of 1967 was an Act of Parliament that decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men.

50 years later the lives of queer people are perceived to be very different – equal age of consent, equality law and equal marriage are all heralded as progressive markers in LGBTQIA* equality but has the UK become a queer friendly nation or are homophobic prejudices just as prevalent?

Belonging is a public debate with poncy performance chaired by Scottee. Together with a committee of prominent queers he will explore where queer people sit in our society. A boozy, loose-tongued version of Question Time with less middle aged, middle class white men. Come and mouth off on the eve of London Pride.

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah
Lady Phyll is the co-founder and director of UK Black Pride, head of political campaigns and equality at PCS Union and a QTIPOC Activist.

Shon Faye

Shon Faye is a sexual and theological schemer, according to one biography. She is a journalist, writer, artist and comedienne based in Bristol. She is a contributor to Dazed and Novara Media on LGBT issues and trans feminism, has written for the Guardian, the Independent and VICE and appeared on BBC Newsnight and BBC Three. She currently has a film on exhibition at the Queer British Art exhibition at the Tate.

Chardine Taylor Stone

Chardine is an award winning cultural producer, feminist, writer & activist, as well as the founder of Black Girls Picnic, a trans-inclusive, global movement in collective self care to celebrate all the beauty that is Black Womanhood.

Travis Alabanza

Travis Alabanza is a performance artist, theatre maker, poet and writer that works and survives in London. Their multidisciplinary practice uses a combination of poetry, theatre, sounscapes, projection and bodyfocussed performance art to scream about their survival as a Black, trans, gender-non-conforming person in the UK. 
Plus other guests TBC

Zeal is the first ever improv festival to officially run as part of Pride In London! Zeal: The Pride Improv Festival is a week-long event taking part in venues across the city from 1-7 July offering a diverse mix of improvised entertainment to celebrate the LGBTQIA community.

Featuring improvised games, comedy, theatre, musicals, drag acts, stand-up and cabaret from both queer improvisers and those who support the community, the festival showcases a mix of established acts, fresh young talent and brand new teams, formed especially for this year’s event! There will also be opportunities for the audience to get up on stage and give it a go in friendly and supportive jam sessions, as well as chances to learn the basics of improv and improve existing skills through the Zeal workshops.

Taking place in collaboration with seven improv schools across London, the festival is an opportunity to see bold, exciting and unique shows that will never be seen again! These acts are made up on the spot and every show and every night will be completely different!

Acts include Music Box, who perform an entire improvised musical based on words from the audience, regular Proud Cabaret host Luke Meredith, and improv duo Breaking & Entering, as well as brand new drag king act The Bareback Kings, improvised songs and conversation from Phil Lunn Is… A Cabaret Singer, and The Lemonade Brigade, an all-gay improv team assembled especially for the festival!



And casting is now complete for the National’s #QueerTheatre season.

Bent by Martin Sherman, directed by Stephen Daldry, Sunday 9 July, 2.30pm

  • George Mackay, 
  • Simon Russell Beale, 
  • Giles Terera, 
  • Pip Torrens, 
  • Paapa Essiedu, 
  • John Pfumojena
  • Adrian Grove. 

(More to be announced soon)

Certain Young Men written and directed by Peter Gill, Sat 8 July, 7.30pm

  • Jonathan Bailey (Andrew), 
  • Ben Batt (Tony), 
  • Oliver Chris (David), 
  • Billy Howle (Michael),
  • Lorne MacFadyen (Stewart), 
  • Stephen Rashbrook (stage direction), 
  • Brian Vernel (Terry) 
  • Toby Wharton (Christopher).

Neaptide by Sarah Daniels, directed by Sarah Frankcom, Thursday 6 July, 7.30pm

  • Ronke Adekoluejo (Val)
  • Adjoa Andoh (Beatrice)
  • Simon Armstrong (Sid & Cyril)
  • Thomas Arnold (Colin & Roger)
  • Maureen Beattie (Joyce)
  • Morfydd Clark (Poppy & Terri)
  • Karla Crome (Diane)
  • Helena Lymbery (Anette & Marion)
  • Sarah Niles (Linda) 
  • Jessica Raine (Claire).

Wig Out! written and directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Friday 7 July, 7.30pm

  • Tarell Alvin-McCraney (Rey Rey)
  • Arun Blair-Mangat (directions)
  • Tunji Kasim (Eric)
  • Alexia Khadime (Fate)
  • Kadiff Kirwan (Ms Nina)
  • Abiona Omonua (Faith)
  • Jonjo O’Neill(Serena)
  • Tom Rhys-Harries (Loki)
  • Ukweli Roach (Lucian) 
  • Cat Simmons (Fay) 
  • Craig Stein (Venus).

The Drag by Mae West, directed by Polly Stenham, Monday 10 July, 7.30pm

  • Fisayo Akinade
  • Arun Blair-Mangat
  • Niamh Cusack
  • Richard Dempsey
  • Sacha Dhawan
  • Tom Edden
  • Adetomiwa Edun
  • Jodie McNee
  • Cyril Nri
  • Sule Rimi 
  • Adrian Scarborough. 
(More to be announced soon)

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