Directing Festival Theatre: Raiding A Drag Ball

Dan Jarvis directed the very first episode of the first piece of Festival Theatre, “A Very Victorian Scandal: The Raid.”  It was a complex immersive period recreation of a drag ball, with live music hall singing, a chorus of can-can boys, a nun on the door and a live police raid.  Here Dan considers the many and varied potentials for …

Writing Festival Theatre: “A Very Victorian Scandal: The Press”

Stephen M Hornby looks back on writing “A Very Victorian Scandal: The Press”, the second in a trilogy of plays dramatising the Police raid on an all-male drag ball in Manchester in 1880. There were several elements to the puzzle: an ambitious man who wanted to become Chief Constable, an unprecedented press frenzy that spread across the world and a …

Writing Festival Theatre: “A Very Victorian Scandal: The Trial”

Ric Brady looks back on writing “The Trial”, part of a trilogy of plays that formed the first programme of Festival Theatre in 2015. ‘The Trial’ was the final piece in ‘A Very Victorian Scandal’: three theatrical pieces that were performed over the first National Festival of LGBT History in 2015.  ‘The Trial’ was a retelling of the Hulme Fancy …

Festival Theatre 2015: “A Very Victorian Scandal”

Stephen M Hornby, our National Festival Theatre Coordinator, continues his cataloguing of Festival Theatre with a look at the first example, “A Very Victorian Scandal”. “A Very Victorian Scandal”  (“AVVS”) was based on the events surrounding the largest raid on an LGBT venue in UK history.  It has been christened “The UK’s Stoneweall”, and yet it happened nearly ninety years …

Festival Theatre 2014: The Beginnings

This post by, National Theatre Coordinator Stephen M Hornby, looks at the genesis of what we now term “Festival Theatre.” In February 2014, I produced a night of political protest plays in Manchester called “To Russia With Love: Stage”.  To mark the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Manchester’s LGBT+ theatre community presented 24 hours of protest and performance to …