Queer Theatre

To mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, the NT looks at how theatre has charted the LGBT+ experience through a series of rehearsed readings, exhibitions, talks and screenings.

Queer Theatre at National Theatre

Image: National Theatre

Festival type: LGBT

Region: London

About the festival

Rehearsed Readings - 6 – 10 July

To celebrate Pride weekend a world-class group of directors and actors bring seminal queer plays back to the stage in an act of celebration and remembrance.

Neaptide (1986) by Sarah Daniels - Directed By Sarah Frankcom - Thu 6 July, 7.30pm

The National Theatre’s first full-length play by a female playwright presents a ferocious but funny account of the public and private battles of a lesbian mother in the 1980s, alongside the Ancient myth of Demeter & Persephone.

Having recently come out to her family, Claire now faces a bitter custody battle and uncertainty over her teaching career.

Wig Out (2008) by Tarell Alvin McCraney - Directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney - Fri 7 July, 7.30pm

Witness the fiercest battle in New York as the House Of Light compete with the House Of Diabolique for drag family supremacy at the Cinderella Ball.

When Eric meets Wilson, it’s a good old-fashioned boy meets boy fairytale. However, when Wilson reveals his drag alter-ego Nina questions of masculinity and gender come to the fore.

In the tradition of Paris Is Burning, this big, bold and riotous play looks at gender, drag and fabulousness.

Certain Young Men (1999) by Peter Gill - Directed by Peter Gill - Sat 8 July, 7.30pm*

QUOTE*To be really queer you have to have someone nail your foreskin to a piece of wood and generally kick up a bit of a fuss."

As the new millennium approaches, four gay couples illuminate the differences within the ‘gay community’.

Is gay life defined by living in coupled suburban bliss or chasing casual sex?

Bent (1979) by Martin Sherman - Directed by Stephen Daldry - Sun 9th July, 2.30pm

Following Nazi Germany’s Night Of The Long Knives in 1934, gay lovers Max and Rudy are taken away to Dachau by the Gestapo.

Desperate to avoid the dreaded Pink Triangle, Max claims to be Jewish.

In amongst the horrors of the Camp, he meets Horst who wears his Pink Triangle with pride.

The Drag (1927) by Mae West - Directed by Polly Stenham - Mon 10 July, 7.30pm

The play that scandalised 1920s New York follows respected, married socialite Rolly.

Son of a homophobic judge and married to the daughter of an eminent gay conversion therapist, Rolly is keen to keep his homosexual tendencies under wraps.

However, when he decides to host a drag ball in his drawing room, events soon spiral out of control.

One of the first plays to shed light on gay counter-culture, Mae West’s rarely performed comedy was banned after ten performances.

Free Exhibition – In Visible Ink

Tracing LGBT+ stories at the NT.

Talks and Screenings

Full details will be available in the near future.


Starts:Monday 1 May 2017

Ends:Monday 31 July 2017

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