Happy, happy Pride. London Theatre delivers a host of productions of interest to the LGBTQI community … but also to anyone who delights in a great 'straight play'.
When Denmark was occupied by Germany in 1940, Dr Carl-Peter Vaernet’s research into a ‘cure’ for homosexuality turned him into a Nazi favourite, and a war criminal. A new and original work researched from papers uncovered by Peter Tatchell, Claudio Macor's Savage imagines a heartbreaking love story against the background of true and terrible events. Important. Upstairs at the Arts, from June 29. Tickets here.
We almost can’t tell you how chuffed we are that Rotterdam transfers from Theatre 503 to Trafalgar Studios from 26 July. However you arrange the words ‘transexual lesbian comedy’ they won’t do justice to the finesse of Jon Brittain’s hilarious script, or how engaged you’ll be in the story of just-coming-out-Alice who finds her funny, charming, sexy girlfriend suddenly wants gender reassignment. Hailed as ‘the best gay play since My Night With Reg’ it is our absolute ‘must see’. Tickets here.
You could be forgiven for dismissing Mart Crowley’s 1968 The Boys in the Band as about as relevant as a Betamax porn tape, if it weren’t for Park Theatre’s crisp coup in casting Mark Gatiss and his husband Ian Hallard in the leads. Gatiss plays Harold, a self-confessed ‘Jew fairy’ who gets a hustler as a birthday present … it’s high camp bitchery, booze and dope until a party game shifts the mood from bright to black. A seminal work, in every sense, but one without which there’d be no Beautiful Thing or Brokeback Mountain. From 28 September, but given Mr Gatiss’ Sherlock/League of Gentlemen/Wolf Hall/Game of Thrones following, wise to book now. Tickets here.
“His name is Jimmy Hall, he plays with odd shaped balls.
So put your bums against the wall ‘cos here comes Jimmy Hall"
Anyone who's Googled ‘Ben Cohen Naked’ (NSFW) will be delighted with Odd Shaped Balls, a bare-chested look at homophobia in the 15-a-side sport as Matthew Marrs’ Jimmy is outed at the start of a promising career. Quick sticks for this one, it’s live during Pride but only till June 25 at the Old Red Lion in Islington. Tickets here.
Anchoring a second Queer Season at the King’s Head pub theatre in Islington from 2 August Spitting Image claims to be the UK’s first ever openly gay play, produced the same year as The Boys in the Band, at Hampstead Theatre Club where it starred ‘Bernard’ from Yes Minister, Derek Fowlds and Julian Holloway as a gay couple who conceive a child amid the prejudice of not-so-swinging sixties London. The catholic magazine ‘The Tablet’ affected to be shocked but was so won over by the wit and charm of the comedy it concluded “If the permissive society permits this sort of thing, I am all for it.” So are we. Tickets here.