In 1967, The Sexual Offences Act – a legislation partly decriminalising homosexual acts – was introduced in England and Wales. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this progressive and, at the time, controversial act, the BBC and the TS Eliot Estate called on well-known actor and queer figure Mark Gatiss, asking him to curate “Queers”, a series of monologues reflecting 100 years of British queer history. From a young soldier’s return from the trenches of the First World War to a groom-to-be’s wedding preparation, the eight stories recall key moments of the evolving socio-political attitudes in LGBT+ history. Lasting about twenty minutes each, the monologues were then presented as a mini TV-series.
One year later, on the occasion of Copenhagen Pride, English director Lee Elms and his company Leftfield Theatre sheds a whole new light on “Queers” by making its protagonists travel from The Old Vic Theatre in London to Galathea Kroen – a “hyggelig” tavern in the heart of Copenhagen. Covered with ethnic wooden statuettes, grimacing masks, animal skins, the walls of this original venue offer in themselves a dazzling queer show. Leaning on the bar in this oddly intimate scenery, eight characters share not only their story with the audience, but also their table, a glass of sherry and the feeling of spending the evening between friends.
Describing their work as “controversial, sexy, hilarious, provocative” – a kind of theatre that “challenges the mind and enlightens the heart” – Leftfield Theatre keep their promise by dealing with the subject of homosexuality with originality. The actors’ performance takes us back in time, whilst inviting us to revise some stereotypes about the LGBT+ community. The choice to show eight raw monologues basically written for TV is bold and enlightening to say the least. Never has The International attended such an intimate and brutely honest performance, we are curious to see what Leftfield Theatre produces next – this will be a hard one to top!
Meet the writer: Léa Severino – Intern for The International
A Master’s student in Film & Media Studies at the University of Copenhagen and an aspiring journalist. Passionate about literature and arts, she started writing culture-related articles for the newspaper of her home university in Switzerland, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s in French and Cinema. Collaborating with other papers, in French as well as English, she has not stopped writing since.