As the dust settles on another season of Pride festivals with an ever-so-slightly contentious Manchester event, I thought I’d flag up a few pieces of LGBT+ content, trying my best to look outside the pale and male G part of the rainbow…
So in no particular order, you can go see Tomboy at the White Bear Theatre this week, book ahead for Stardust, and My Beautiful Laundrette, read reviews of Vita and Virginia off the big screen, Gentleman Jack, Queers and Years and Years off the TV, The View UpStairs late of the Soho Theatre,
Tomboy opens at the White Bear Theatre
Tomboy is a thought-provoking new play, exploring the complexities of growing up, a rebellion against gender norms and the heartache of a broken family. Discover the story of Robyn as she navigates us through her journey of childhood reflection. A bildungsroman brought to life through a montage of memories, difficult conversations and 90’s pop music.
Playwright Caitlin Power took a little time out to speak about her play:
“Throughout my childhood my choice to be a “Tomboy” was always questioned; my decision to wear joggers over dresses, to play with boys instead of girls, even my dream of playing football for Manchester United. Thankfully as a society we have broadened our awareness for gender nonconformity but as a result have we narrowed what a girl or boy can look like or do? Can a girl still identify as a girl, just a different type of girl to what society dictates? At its core, Tomboy is a play that celebrates the freedom of growing up as you wish, the individuality of children and the importance of having a champion.”
First South Asian theatre production to feature same-sex marriage.
To mark its 15th anniversary, South Asian theatre, arts and cultural platform, Phizzical is producing Stardust by Shahid Iqbal Khan and Samir Bhamra which is a British stage first – the first South Asian theatre production to feature same-sex marriage.
Amor is the Whitney Houston of the Bollywood music industry in the late 1980s. She is silenced when she uncovers an explosive secret involving Cyrus, her music producer and husband.
30 years later, British Asian singer Amar is struggling to make his mark as a mainstream star. When he discovers Amor’s songs, Amar plunges into an extraordinary journey that culminates in a chilling encounter with Cyrus.
This “Bollywood/ R&B romantic pop-thriller” plays at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre in September (14-21st), and stars Robby Khela (Grindr The Opera – Best New Musical at The Offies 2019), Hollyoaks‘ Amanda Clapham, Fame’s Sophie Kandola and Christoph L. Dorocant (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), along with Harriette Mullen. Nataylia Roni and Aizaac Sidhu
With director Samir Bhamra, creative director of the UK Asian Film Festival and director of three large scale performances during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the cast are working with a remarkable creative team: deaf writer Shahid Iqbal Khan; international composer Devesh Sodha; songwriter Robby Khela; choreographer to celebrities choreographer Dr Leena Patel; designer Richard Evans (Seussical, Guess How Much I Love You, Avenue Q UK tour) and lighting designer Grant Anderson (Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, NTS’s My Left Right Foot and Edinburgh’s 2017 Hogmanay Torchlight Procession, Street Party and Midnight Moment).
Full casting for My Beautiful Laundrette announced
Curve, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham and Leeds Playhouse are joining forces to co-produce a new stage production of Hanif Kureishi’s screenplay My Beautiful Laundrette. This bold new production of Hanif Kureishi‘s ground-breaking 1985 Oscar-nominated film of the same name will be directed by Curve’s Artistic Director Nikolai Foster (Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual and Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw, both at Curve). Presented against a funky backdrop of 80s music and culture, this drama will explore cultural conflict, gender equality, class and generational strife.
Set in London during the Thatcher years, My Beautiful Laundrette tells the story of young British Pakistani, Omar, who transforms his Uncle’s run-down laundrette into a thriving business. After being confronted by a fascist gang, Omar recognises school-friend Johnny and uses their history to diffuse the situation. As they renovate the laundrette together, love blossoms between them. This culture clash comedy is also a subversive work of social realism, sprinkled with magic and joy running through the rich veins of Kureishi’s writing.
Omar Malik (East is East, Nottingham Playhouse and Gangsta Granny, UK tour) plays the quick-witted Omar, a young British Pakistani who transforms his Uncle’s run-down laundrette into a thriving business. Jonny Fines (An Officer and a Gentleman – the Musical, Curve and UK tour and Grease, Curve) will play rebellious punk Johnny, the role which launched the career of Daniel Day-Lewis.
Gordon Warnecke, who originally played Omar in Stephen Frears’ 1985 film, joins this new cast as Papa, Omar’s alcoholic but wise Father.
Completing the cast are Paddy Daly as Genghis and Dick O’Donnell, Kammy Darweish as Nasser, Hareet Deol as Salim, Nicole Jebeli as Tania, Balvinder Sopal as Bilquis and Moose and Cathy Tyson as Rachel and Cherry.
My Beautiful Laundrette opens at Leicester’s Curve from 20th September – 5th October before heading on tour.