Tag Archives: lesbian

Review: “The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs” @Soho Theatre

What’s not to like about the Soho Theatre? Its hip, it’s friendly and it’s surrounded by all the bars, cafes, clubs and restaurants that we love to hang out in. There’s a tangible feeling of excitement in the crowd of, mainly, women waiting to see the show tonight (this is the perfect play for lesbian spotting). I have to admit, it is rather thrilling to see a play about us…in mainstream theatre and featured in the Guardian. 

Iman Qureshi‘s engaging and powerful play breaks new ground with its intersectional lesbian narrative. It’s beautifully written and doesn’t flinch when tackling complex issues around identity and validation. It also manages to be funny, joyful and heart-warming.

Ministry of Lesbian affairs is the name of a lesbian choir, who meet once a week to sing together. Each of its members has very different views and life experiences. Led by world weary conductor Connie (Shuna Snow) they gossip, flirt and sing their way onto the main stage at London Pride.

The first half is hilarious, opening with a (filthy) lesbian version of “My Favourite Things” (from “The Sound of Music”) The audience, were practically rolling in the aisles by the interval. I loved the song choices (thanks Nicola T Chang) As the play unfolds, conflicts regarding politics and lifestyle emerge within the group, threatening its harmony. 

Cue hand and breath holding in the rapt audience. 

Lori (Kibong Tanji) “I’m too much of a girl for my colleagues. I’m too much of a boy at church. I’m too black for my customers.” 

Fi: (Kiruna Stamell) “Before we even get a chance to be part of the mainstream, we’re divided and subdivided, marginalised all over again…lesbians are practically invisible.”

Brig (Mariah Louca) “How does my being a woman make you less of a woman? There’s enough room for all of us…if we don’t fight for ourselves, for each other, who will?”

Ellie (Fanta Barrie) “I like to keep it casual. Otherwise you get sucked into that lesbian vortex and next thing you know its been seven years and you cant tell her North Face jacket from yours.

Dina (Lara Sawalha) “I’m here on a visa as his wife. So if I left him, I’d have to leave the country. And I cant exactly be a lesbian in Qatar. And I’d probably lose my children.”

Ana (Claudia Jolly) “Finding out what connects us, revelling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values.”

All of the characters represented by the cast feel authentic, we laugh and cry with them, their stories reflect the rich diversity of our community. They are deftly directed by Hannah Hauer-King.

The play was produced by Damsel, a company who focus on addressing the misrepresentation and lack of representation of women in theatre.

Iman Qureshi’s aim was to write a play with togetherness at its heart…and to create a lesbian Mecca at the Soho Theatre. 

The Ministry of Lesbian Affairs does not disappoint. Don’t miss it.

Soho Theatre Box Office: 0207 478 0100. 

Until Sat 11th June 2022

Lesbian Life

I try very hard to be a good lesbian

I preen, I postulate…I pout.

I actively campaign for L.G.B.T,

I write poetry, I march, I shout.

 

It’s taken many years to perfect my style,

The way that I look, sound and dress.

Do I like being Gay? Was I born this way?

The answer’s unequivocally YES.

 

I have to practice all the time

To improve my lesbian technique.

If you’d like to be part of my lesbian scene

I can spare a few hours next week.

 

Meanwhile, I’ll just loiter in naughty places,

Where nice girls really don’t stay,

Catching up with old friends and familiar faces,

Whilst night turns into day

 

I love my life, my lesbian life,

I’m happy in every way

That I can be who-so-ever I wish

Under the auspice of being Gay

Queer Kiss-mas

It’s the festive season, Hip hip hooray!

Now’s a good time to be happy and Gay

This time of year can be lonely and cold

So get out those glad-rags, be daring. Be bold.

 

Try a new lipstick, buy a sprig of mistletoe

Tune into the season, its ringing Go Gay Go!

Dry clean that jacket. Put on that bow tie

If you feel like snogging, don’t think why?

 

Christmas time can be stressful and fraught

Overspending, overeating, doing what you ought

So relax and smile a little, look around you, it’s free.

Enjoy the many pleasures of our Community

 

Be kind, be nice, it is the seasonal mission

Spread love and goodwill, I give you my permission

Just one more thing to say before I go

I wish you a Merry Xmas, with lots of Yo, Ho, Ho!

Three Ladies

They were three special Ladies

Friends, collaborators and lovers.

Living together for almost fifty years,

Devoted sisters, serfs and mothers.

 

They lived, laboured and loved

In a hamlet, betwixt church and stream.

Tending their garden, home and hopes,

Living the domestic and creative dream.

 

Edy was the catalyst,

A woman who lived to work.

Dutiful daughter, friend and lover,

Her duties she did not shirk.

 

Tony was the peacemaker,

Blessed with an artists perceptive eye

Gentle, even-tempered and humorous

Between two volatile lovers, she did lie.

 

Christopher was the agitator,

Passionate, demanding and romantic

In her bright red coat and tri-cornered hat.

She was dapper and rather pedantic.

 

The focus and drive these women shared,

Helped to change the course of history.

Their guardianship of their private lives

Ensures their love remains, a mystery.

THE SMALLHYTHE TRIO

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Edy, Christopher and Tony

Lived unconventional lives.

Known as the Smallhythe trio…

Women, workmates and wives.

 

They rejected the traditional template

Of how a woman should be.

Wore trousers, wrote plays, were independent,

Fought for women’s equality.

 

Edy was a devoted daughter.

Her mother the actress Ellen Terry,

Whose home is now a museum

Enjoyed by you and me.

 

The Trio set the benchmark

Of what a woman could achieve,

They threw away the corset

Of society’s expectation and need.