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 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 …