A new play commissioned by Pride in Hull for LGBT 50 explores what it means to be a young LGBT+ person in the city. Based on real-life stories, Lads & Lasses has been written by Aidan Thompson-Coates of the Hull-based theatre company ApposArt and will be performed for the first time on Monday 24 July at Fruit.
Developed through discussions with more than 30 members of the local LGBT+ community, the play’s dialogue tells their stories, in their own words. The play looks at how a person’s experience of coming out, or being outed, can vary dramatically and have a huge impact on their personal development in both positive and negative ways.
Playwright Aidan Thompson-Coates said: “The discussions we had not only shaped the story, but also the characters themselves. Although none of them are based on one individual directly, I took certain characteristics from the people I talked with that helped bring the characters to life.
“The whole idea behind the play is to demonstrate that sexuality as a means to judge and confine people to boxes and stereotypes is outdated and boring, and that sexuality should complement identity, not constitute it.”
Colin Wilson, trustee at Pride In Hull, said: “It was really important for us that anything we commissioned told the real stories of local people. With Lads & Lasses, Aidan has achieved that.
“I think there will be scenes in the play that everyone in the LGBT+ community will be familiar with, from living a double life and hiding who you really are, to gaining the courage to come out. These are situations many of us have been in and conversations many of us have had at some point.”
LGBT 50 is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK and consists of a week-long programme of events from Saturday 22 July until Saturday 29 July.
Opening the week in style is the Pride In Hull parade, featuring 50 representations of LGBT+ icons created by queer collective Duckie in a series of public workshops, followed by the annual Pride In Hull concert and a headline performance by the legendary Marc Almond.
The festival will close on Saturday 29 July with A Duckie Summer Tea Party featuring Into The Light, a new work by award-winning choreographer Gary Clarke and Yorkshire Dance followed by a star-studded concert broadcast on BBC Radio 2 presented by Scissor Sisters’ front woman Ana Matronic and BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills.
Throughout the week there will be exhibitions, socials, debates and film, along with the opening of Lee Price’s photographic exhibition The House Of Kings And Queens at Humber Street Gallery, offering a glimpse of life as a homosexual in Sierra Leone, where homosexuality remains illegal.
The full programme will provide an opportunity to celebrate the LGBT+ community, show solidarity with the continuing struggles for equality in the UK and highlight some of the freedoms gained in the last 50 years.
Martin Green, CEO and director of Hull 2017, said: “The LGBT 50 programme is going to be one of the highlights of the year. I’m so pleased that this new piece of theatre will explore what are often untold, but widely shared, experiences.“
Lads & Lasses takes place on Monday 24 July at Fruit. Tickets are £9 and are available to book now.