Theatres that are amplifying LGBTQIA stories
BY CHARLOTTE GRIMWADE, IMAGE BY PEXELS
It can take one experience to remind you that queer theatre is out there for our community to enjoy and support. For me, it was Alphabetti Theatre’s production Tiny Fragments of Beautiful Light which I saw back in February. The play follows a queer, neurodivergent woman learning to love herself and not hide who she is. After such a memorable experience at Alpabetti, I’ve been inspired to find more UK theatre venues and companies that prioritise incredible LGBTQIA stories. So, here are six theatre companies that remind of us of how great it is to have queer voices represented on the stage.
It’s only right to start with Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle. The performance space was created by Ali Pritchard in 2012. Alphabetti not only places an emphasis on queer stories but is also focused on accessibility. Their Pay What You Feel ticketing scheme means that even more people are able to attend their shows. The theatre is also one of the performance hubs for Newcastle Fringe Festival, providing an even greater incentive to check it out this summer!
Arcola Theatre is based in East London and have maintained a strong focus on diversity and inclusion since they were founded in 2000. Arcola’s Queer Collective provides an opportunity for LGBTQIA people to feel comfortable and seen on the stage. Their ticket prices are also some of the most affordable in London, with their Pay What You Can scheme ensuring that people aren’t put off attending their productions because of the cost.
Based in Manchester, Qweerdog Theatre specialises in LGBTQIA stories. Aside from putting on performances, they also focus on encouraging new writers to share their work. Submissions are currently open for new, short play scripts for the theatre company’s writing nights. From a short monologue to a thirty-minute piece, anything and everything is welcome.
Roots is Yorkshire’s queer touring theatre, which aims to unite different local communities and LGBTQIA creatives. You can currently watch three monologues that were written during the free Theatre Queers writing workshop, which took place alongside Roots’ 2022 tour of Happy Meal. Aside from these great online performances, you can also stay tuned for what Roots have planned for the future.
Queerly are another London-based theatre company focused on creating work by and for queer people. They not only work to give queer writers, actors and creatives the opportunity to present their original material, but also aim to connect performers with casting directors. Founded by Meg McGrady and Lucy Jane Dickson, Queerly has plenty of events planned. Sinqueerly, Me, the company’s flagship event focused on making a mini jukebox musical, is a standout series to consider attending if you want to witness what Queerly does best – give queer women and non-binary people a voice on the stage.
And last but not least, Omnibus is the first theatre to have an out-and-proud lesbian at the helm as artistic director. Psst… DIVAs you don’t want to miss SHUTTERS, a new lesbian rock opera which is written and executive produced by Rena Brannan. The protagonist, Saving Liz, is a young, idealistic punk rocker who is motivated to change the world through her music, and as the story unfolds, she navigates the joys, struggles and complexities of life as a queer woman.
DIVA magazine celebrates 29 years in print in 2023. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.