Category Archives: News

Review: “Dog Show” @ Pleasance Theatre

Fancy a hilarious, camp, kinky alternative musical this Xmas?  “Dog Show” at the Pleasance Theatre is the answer…

This irreverent Canine Cabaret is engaging and terrific fun from its very first bark.

Featuring stand out performers from across the queer cabaret scene; We experience life from a dog’s perspective …in all its humour, pathos and longing. 

The show moves at a cracking pace with slick dance routines, great songs and fantastic costumes (thanks to Kelli Des Jariais). The lighting and sound design transport us to each witty doggy vignette featuring excellent solo and ensemble performances.

This divine dog’s dinner of a show is devised, in the Weimar tradition, by the fabulous (Sink the Pink) Ginger Johnson and David Cummings who are stand out performers in the talented cast. 

The Pleasance Theatre (6 mins walk from Caledonian tube, free on street parking) is a hidden treasure of a venue. As well as supporting individuals artist development, it has a great bar and restaurant with cabaret style seating (and service) in the theatre.

 Highly recommended, and not just for dog lovers.  Its a great night out.

Until 19th December. Tickets at https://www.pleasance.co.uk     02076091800

‘The Gateways’ documentary

In partnership with Diva magazine, Queer Britain hosted an online event about the legendary women’s club, The Gateways, and the feature documentary being made about it. From the 1930s to the ‘80s, The Gateways was one of the most important cultural hotspots for lesbians and bisexual women. I was one of the panelists, along with DJ Ritu, and Lucie Warrington and Jacquie Lawrence, director and producer of the Gateways documentary.

You can watch the online event here.

Review: “The Staircase”

How great it is to go to out the theatre again….the Southwark Playhouse, tucked away, behind the Elephant and Castle, buzzes with excitement. Its neon sign beams out a warm welcome to all.

This revival of Charles Dyers play, “The Staircase” (last performed by the RSC in 1966), explores the 20 year relationship between devoted, long suffering Harry ( Paul Rider) and waspish, egocentric Charlie (John Sackville). A relationship blighted by the fact that (until the Sexual offences Act of 1967) homosexuality was illegal.

The play is set in Harry’s barbers shop in which our couple work. They live above the shop with Harry’s arthritic mum.

As the audience enter the auditorium we are immediately transported back to the 60’s by Alex Marker’s crisp, authentic set and evocative music.

Both men are dealing with immediate personal problems: Harry is losing his hair (not a good look then, for a Barber) and Charlie is about to be prosecuted for sitting on a man’s knee in a pub. The lovers bicker and banter throughout the play, their camp repartee  cruel but often amusing.

Director Tricia Thorns deftly draws out the underlying shame and stigma that homosexuals like Harry and Charlie experienced during this era and the impact it had on their relationships, Harry and Charlie’s being underpinned by bitterness, self-disgust and denial.

It felt strange to laugh out loud at the hilarious comments the couple  exchanged, whilst feeling simultaneously saddened by the unfairness of their life experience. The (socially distanced) audience was totally immersed in this comedic tragedy. I chatted with some older men in the interval who had lived through similar experiences in their own lives. “The Staircase” is a salutary reminder of our recent history. Not to be missed!

The Staircase runs at the Southwark Playhouse until 17 July.