Tag Archives: History

‘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.

Woman and Wife

My name was Anne Hathaway, a maiden like no other,

Acting as a mother to my father and my brother.

I fell in love with a younger man and gladly took his name,

Mrs. Shakespeare is a name of fortitude and fame.


My husband is a playwright a poet and a wit.

It takes him far away from home, but I don’t mind a bit.

In London he makes the fortune that facilitates our life,

Then he rides 3 days to visit his devoted, waiting wife.


I am mistress of our beautiful home, and run it as I will,

I order this and purchase that, my husband pays the bill.

I care not that he is not the most attentive, ardent lover.

His affection shows in his support, of our children and my brother.


Yes, I am a dutiful daughter, mother, friend and wife.

I don’t burden my dear husband with petulance or strife.

It is unseemly for a woman to disobey a man,

Though this can be a challenge, I do the best I can


William wanted Anne Hathaway to be his wedded wife,

And I became the wife my husband needed in his life.

His London life is different, dramatic, fancy-free.

But when his work is over, he will return to me.

The Forest of Arden: A Sonnet

Let’s take a journey back to Shakespeare’s day,

When verdant forest coated England’s heart.

With Oak and Ash and Birch, and flowering May,

A place of mystery and Fairy Art.


Beside a path of Stitchwort and sweet Thyme,

A handsome youth is by his cattle led.

There, hidden from view by thorny Eglantine,

The Fairy Queen sleeps on a Primrose bed.


A Willow grows aslant a glassy stream,

Where sweet Ophelia finally laid her head.

Alas, that forest now is but a dream,

That wild and wonderland is almost dead.


Man’s lust for power, money, need to own,

Has changed that place, to tarmac, brick and stone.

Gender Bender

In Shakespeare’s plays a man could be

A handsome boy, a maid, or gender free.

For women were not allowed on stage,

A woman as herself would society outrage.


With that in mind, the Bard wrote plays

That blurred the boundaries of straights and gays.

Where men loved women, who were actually men,

Who then, pretended to be men again.


What a merry dance of love led he,

Its gender was fluid, he, she or thee.

His audience liked romantic thrills,

And it suited his lifestyle and paid his bills.


For there, within his work could he,

Explore the possibility of love set free.

Wherein the duality of life he sought

Fame and fortune to him brought.


A happy man he, in either life

With a lover and a dutiful wife.

Successful, with no need to ration,

The master-mistress of his passion.

Review: “Carnation for a Song”

The Young Vic Café / Bar is bustling…filled with people hanging out and relaxing, unlike the determined queue of people waiting to get access to the performance space for this show, tickets (which are free) are now scarce, such is its popularity.

This Community event commissioned by the Young Vic as part of its ‘Taking part project’ has clearly been a resounding success.

“Carnation for a Song” inspired by Oscar Wilde’s famous queer reference to green carnations, is an ensemble piece for fourteen LGBQ Londoners aged 50+, who share their personal life experience through stories and song.

This is a production that is both comedic and poignant. Its participants have lived through decriminalization, HIV, Section 28 and the legalization of same sex marriage, as well as the day to day trials of Gay life and online dating!

Josephs Atkins’ original songs and musical accompaniment, inspired by the original interviews with the cast, were a highlight, of the show. Expansive, expressive and toe tapping! I particularly loved “Gateways Girls” but enjoyed them all.

Director Megan Cronin shepherded her flock of ‘fearless participants’ and enabled the authenticity of our collective history to shine through. The audience were visibly moved.

This is an entertaining and interesting production. It illuminates the importance of narrating our history, lest it be made invisible. We must not forget our Trans and BAME family’s part in it.


Young Vic 10-13thApril

Tate Late 26th April