Turbine Theatre to present festival for LGBTQ+ voices

Last Updated on 14 May 2021 by Showcall Editorial Team

Paul Taylor-Mills and London’s Turbine Theatre have revealed the programme for Rally Fest, a new festival celebrating LGBTQ+ voices and stories

Turbine Theatre festival

A new festival celebrating LGBTQ+ voices and stories has been announced by director and producer Paul Taylor-Mills and London’s Turbine Theatre.

Running from 6 to 13 June 2021, Rally Fest will feature 12 shows, each for one night only, aiming to promote allyship within the creative industries and encourage artists to take up space with LGBTQ+ work.

The programme will include:

  • Boy Out the City, a new intimate autobiographical one-man show written and performed by singer-songwriter, musical theatre performer and former EastEnder, Declan Bennett, directed by Nancy Sullivan.
  • A collection of three plays by Harvey Fierstein under the banner of Safe Sex: Manny and Jake, On Tidy Endings, and Safe Sex.
  • Ian Hallard’s “historical romp”, Steenie, about King James I’s favourite, George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.
  • A revival of Matthew Todd’s 2008 play Blowing Whistles, a painfully honest and funny drama about the complications of gay life.
  • Sophia Murphy’s new play, Obsession, described as a 1920s gothic-horror romance about a young, black, American paranormal debunker.
  • The world premiere of Fatt Butcher’s autobiographical musical, Fister Act, described as a life-affirming queer fantasy adventure through time, space, bodies, and brains, featuring an original score of synth-pop electro musical theatre and kaleidoscopic visuals. Fatt Butcher will also bring a musical theatre version of her popular Disco Bingo to Rally Fest.
  • A rehearsed reading of Ross Berkeley Simpson’s Heterophobia, a two-hander for actors in their 70s, which depicts a world where heterosexuality is illegal, shining a light on modern-day homophobia. It will be directed by Scott Le Crass.
  • A reading of Wreckage, a new work by emerging talent Tom Ratcliffe, directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair.
  • HighTide Theatre will present a work-in-progress extract of a new play by commissioned writer Sonia Jalaly, Oh We Do Like To Be, about a woman who travels to Blackpool in search of answers.
  • International cabaret star Velma Celli will celebrates the most iconic drag moments of film, stage and popular culture in her show, A Brief history of Drag.
  • An Evening of Show Tunes with Drag Queens: Misty Van Cartier, River Medway, Samantha Stone and the host, Tiana Biscuit.

Taylor-Mills, who is artistic director of the Turbine Theatre at Battersea Power Station, said: “The opportunity to mount a festival of new work from under-represented voices has been an ambition of mine for some time.

“Over the last year we’ve had a huge amount of time to reflect about our practice, to think about the kind of work we want to create, encouraging artists to tell the stories of today. My hope is that #RallyFest provides us with a platform to do this, as well as allowing us to look back on some seminal moments in LBGTQ+ theatre.

“During the curation of the festival, I’ve come across artists who I didn’t previously know existed and have learned a huge amount about what is and isn’t out there for under-represented theatre-makers.

“We hope the festival allows for conversation and for change. I believe so strongly in the power of theatre to unite people and to educate and to learn, including myself.”

All events take place live at The Turbine Theatre under socially distanced seating restrictions. Tickets are sold in bubbles of one, two or three seats, separated by Perspex screens.

For tickets and dates, visit theturbinetheatre.com

About Mark Ludmon 318 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre, hospitality and drinks after starting in regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He is a former panellist for the Olivier Awards. He tweets at @MarkLudmon.