2018: Playing With The Past

Stephen M Hornby and Abi Hynes, two of our Festival Theatre playwrights, gave a talk at the People’s History Museum in Manchester as part of their OUTing the Past Festival for 2018.  They talked about four plays and how they’d researched archives and worked with historical adviser to create compelling and popular drama that was also historically literate drama.  Here’s …

Directing Festival Theatre: Helen Parry

Helen Parry has directed four pieces of Festival Theatre and explores the joys and challenges of the work in the context of her wider career. I’ve been involved for the last three years with LGBT HM, directing four very different pieces of work. I have had previous experience of site specific work (Styal Mill in Cheshire, Farfield Mill in Sedbergh, …

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Writing Festival Theare: “Burnley’s Lesbian Liberator”

Abi Hynes looks back on the process on writing “Burnley’s Lesbian Liberator”, one of two pieces of Festival Theatre for 2017 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 2017. I was pretty daunted by the prospect of writing a play set in the recent past. Burnley in the 1970s might as well have been Tudor England to …

Writing Festival Theatre: “Mister Stokes: The Man-Woman of Manchester”

Abi Hynes looks back on writing her festival theatre play for 2016 “Mister Stokes: The Man-Woman of Manchester” I realised pretty early on that writing a play about Harry Stokes was going to involve summoning his ghost. It was one of those ‘click’ moments – it’s like looking at the picture on the box of a 1,000 piece jigsaw, and …

Festival Theatre 2017 – “The Burnley Buggers’ Ball” & “Burnley’s Lesbian Liberator”

This post by Stephen M Hornby, our National Theatre Coordinator, continues our catalogue of Festival Theatre. 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 2017, which partially decriminalised male homosexuality in England and Wales.  In 2007, the 40th anniversary saw two dramatisations to mark the ocassion, one about the Wolfenden Committee, and one about the Monatgu case.  Consenting …

Festival Theatre 2016 “Mister Stokes: The Man-Woman of Manchester”

This post by National Theatre Coordinator Stephen M Hornby continues our catalogue of Festival Theatre. “A Very Victorian Scandal”, the first piece of Festival Theatre in 2015, had been so succsseful that it invited further dramatisations of hidden histories.  However, some important lessons had also been learnt.  “A Very Victorian Scandal” was essentially three one act plays, all of which …