The National Theatre on London’s Southbank will host a series of events this summer in partnership with Pride London, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.
Currently running is a free exhibition called In Visible Ink, tracing LGBT+ stories at the National Theatre. The exhibition is located in the Lyttelton Lounge, and is on display until 21 September 2017.
Earlier in the summer, from 6 – 10 July 2017, the National held a series of LGBT+ rehearsed readings, exhibitions, talks and screenings, including readings directed by Stephen Daldry, Polly Stenham, and Oscar-winning writer of Moonlight, Tarell Alvin McCraney.
Rehearsed Readings at the National
Neaptide by Sarah Daniels (1986), directed by Sarah Frankcom.
DATE: Thursday, July 6 7.30pm.
Neaptide was the National Theatre’s first full-length play by a female playwright. It presents a ferocious but funny account of the public and private battles of a lesbian mother in the 1980s, alongside the ancient myth of Demeter & Persephone. Having recently come out to her family, Claire now faces a bitter custody battle and uncertainty over her teaching career.
Wig Out! by Tarell Alvin McCraney (2008), directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney.
DATE: Friday, July 7, 7.30pm.
Witness the fiercest battle in New York as the House Of Light compete with the House Of Diabolique for drag family supremacy at the Cinderella Ball. When Eric meets Wilson, it’s a good old-fashioned boy meets boy fairytale. However, when Wilson reveals his drag alter-ego Nina, questions of masculinity and gender come to the fore. In the tradition of Paris Is Burning, this big, bold and riotous play looks at gender, drag and fabulousness.
Certain Young Men by Peter Gill (1999), directed by Peter Gill.
DATE: Saturday, July 8, 7.30pm.
‘To be really queer you have to have someone nail your foreskin to a piece of wood and generally kick up a bit of a fuss.’ As the new millennium approaches, four gay couples illuminate the differences within the ‘gay community’. Is gay life defined by living in coupled suburban bliss or chasing casual sex?
Bent by Martin Sherman (1979), directed by Stephen Daldry.
DATE: Sunday, July 9, 2.30pm.
Following Nazi Germany’s Night Of The Long Knives in 1934, gay lovers Max and Rudy are taken away to Dachau by the Gestapo. Desperate to avoid the dreaded Pink Triangle, Max claims to be Jewish. In amongst the horrors of the Camp, he meets Horst who wears his Pink Triangle with pride.
The Drag by Mae West (1927), directed by Polly Stenham.
DATE: Monday, July 10, 7.30pm.
The play that scandalised 1920s New York follows respected, married socialite Rolly. Son of a homophobic judge and married to the daughter of an eminent gay conversion therapist, Rolly is keen to keep his homosexual tendencies under wraps. However, when he decides to host a drag ball in his drawing-room, events soon spiral out of control. One of the first plays to shed light on gay counter-culture, Mae West’s rarely performed comedy was banned after ten performances.