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: 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 …

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 …

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 …