Tag Archives: theatre

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

 

Inside Kent Magazine: ‘An LGBT Celebration at Smallhythe Place’

Barn Theatre at Smallhythe Place

Saturday 10 & 11 June, 3pm

To celebrate National Trust’s Prejudice and Pride programme L.G.B.T Poet Laureate Trudy Howson is coming to Smallhythe Place to explore The Smallhythe Trio: Edith Craig, Christopher St. John and Clare Atwood, through poetry and prose.

She will also be in conversation with our House Steward, Susannah Mayor and Curator of the current LGBT exhibition, Carla Danella, about Edy Craig and her circle of LGBT friends that lived at the property. There will be a Q&A session to close the event.

Free entry

Read the full article here: http://insidekentmagazine.co.uk/an-lgbt-celebration-at-smallhythe-place/


“If we got some more coke (I could show you how I love you)

I’ll be guesting on the after show panel of this innovative new play by John O’Donovan.

Set in a small town in West Ireland it explores, through the relationship of two lads: Friendship. Love. Class. Alienation.

These topics and other issues relating to Class division and alienation within the LGBT community will be discussed after the show .

The Old Red Lion Theatre is hosting this event