All posts by t h

Interview with Peruvian Tree Productions

I was interviewed by Peruvian Tree Productions on my role as LGBT Poet Laureate – the full interview can be seen below:

 

WOMEN & AIDS (World Aids Day Vigil 2018)

We are the hands that rocked the cradle,

Administered to the needs of those affected.

Comforted the shocked and confused,

Nursed the sick and dying.

 

Women and AIDS go hand in hand.

 

We were infected by husbands and lovers,

By a half forgotten one night stand.

By a not forgotten rapist.

By people, who didn’t know they had it.

 

Our babies were born with AIDS.

 

Because we had a blood transfusion,

Or were registered hemophiliacs.

Because we were ignorant and careless,

Or junkies, desperate for a fix.

 

Women are 52 percent of those who survived

 

Remember those women who lost their lives

Celebrate those that survive.

The mothers. Sisters. Aunties. Friends,

Who now stand, hand in hand, with the men.

Witney Winter Wonderland

Stepping out of the darkness

Moving into the light.

Witney’s Winter Wonderland,

Dazzles and delights.

 

In this ancient holy place,

We decorate the bough.

That represents eternal life,

Redemption, then and now.

 

Winter, season of reflection,

Of darkness and despair.

Look in the stable of your soul,

Love, lies sleeping there.

 

Let’s celebrate Love’s diversity

With this festival of light.

Open up our hearts to all

That is beautiful and bright.

 

Review: War Requiem

I love going to the ENO. It’s not just the gorgeous architecture or its fabulous location.  It’s because of the sense of inclusion I feel as soon as I step into the building. The feeling, that every type of person comes here, and every person is made welcome.

This production of “War Requiem” is of particular interest to the LGBTQ community. Composed in 1962 by Benjamin Britten, (with the tenor part originally written for his lover Peter Pears.) Britten uses excerpts from Wilfred Owen’s poetry, to epitomize the waste and futility of war. Both Britten and Owen were homosexual and living at a time when it was illegal to be so. This particular production’s designer, Wolfgang Tillman, is a gay activist as well as a Turner prizewinner.

War Requiem is a choral extravaganza, epic and thrilling in equal measure. Its score is well served by an enormous chorus of adults and children. The body of the chorus is onstage for much of the production.

The sure performances of soloists David Butt Philip and Roderick Williams draw the poignancy and sorrow from the text. But it was soprano Emma Bell, who stole the show, with her beauty, vocal dexterity and theatrical presence.

Tillman’s set comprises of photographs projected onto three large panels onstage. Apart from the early archive pictures of injured soldiers, I found most of the images irrelevant, their static quality distracting from, rather than enhancing, the emotional intensity of the music and libretto.

Britten’s consummate score combined with Owen’s emotionally harrowing text, clearly depicts the suffering and horror that our gallant soldiers, many of them just boys, endured for their country. Particularly so, for the homosexuals in their ranks who were criminalized because of their sexuality

This beautifully orchestrated production, reminds us that War is not a solution…it’s a tragedy.  Love is the solution. Including the Love that once, dare not speak its name.

E.N.O. until Dec 7th

 

PENSION PLEA (to the Government)

We are the women born in the 50’s,

Who will not falter in our fight.

The government postponed our pension.

This isn’t fair. It isn’t right.

 

We contributed to this Nation,

Our workforce made this county great.

We don’t deserve to be singled out

Told our pensions have to wait.

 

We enriched the UK’s economy,

As teachers, nurses, mother and wife.

Now a random birth date lottery

Gives us an impoverished life.

 

We did as the government bade us,

Made sacrifices and paid our due.

Now is the time to repay that debt,

We did our bit.  Now its up to you.