Stage & Screen

LGBTQI+ theatre and cinema features queer plays and queer films on both stage and screen. They have played a significant role in the representation and visibility of the queer community. These art forms have provided a platform for us to share our stories, experiences, and struggles. They ultimately contribute to the broader movement for LGBTQ rights and acceptance.

Queer Theatre

In the realm of queer theatre, queer-themed plays have been instrumental in challenging societal norms and promoting understanding and empathy.

Modern LGBTQI+ theatre began to emerge following the struggles of the gay liberation movement. Mart Crowley’s play Boys in the Band, a gay-themed play by Mart Crowley, was staged off-Broadway in 1968. One of the first musicals to portray a gay relationship was ‘Boy Meets Boy’, first staged off-Broadway in 1975. The musical-comedy was set in 1936 in a world that normalised homosexual relationships as if they were heterosexual.

The 1970s also saw the creation of groundbreaking queer production companies in the UK, such as Gay Sweatshop, founded in 1975. 1979 Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square, London, staged Bent by Martin Sherman. The production later transferred to the West End. Playwrights like Mart Crowley, Harvey Fierstein, and Tony Kushner were able to bring LGBTQ stories to the forefront. They addressed issues such as coming out, discrimination, and the AIDS crisis.

These plays not only provided a voice for LGBTQ individuals but also educated and enlightened audiences about the struggles faced by our community.

Queer Cinema

Similarly, queer cinema has played a crucial role in representing diverse sexual orientations and gender identities on the big screen. The early days of queer cinema were marked by underground and independent films that explored queer themes due to the lack of mainstream acceptance.

However, with the rise of the New Queer Cinema movement in the 1990s (first coined by the academic B. Ruby Rich in Sight & Sound magazine in 1992), LGBTQI+ films gained more visibility and recognition.

Filmmakers like Todd Haynes, Gus Van Sant, and Kimberly Peirce created groundbreaking works that challenged heteronormative narratives and offered authentic portrayals of LGBTQI+ characters.

These films not only resonated with queer audiences but also helped to humanise and normalise queer experiences for wider audiences.

The impact of queer theatre and cinema extends beyond mere representation. These art forms have been instrumental in fostering a sense of community and empowerment for LGBTQI+ individuals. Creating and consuming LGBTQ-themed works provides a space for us to see ourselves reflected on stage or screen, validating our queer identities and experiences.

Moreover, queer theatre and cinema have also catalysed social change, challenging discriminatory laws and policies and promoting acceptance and equality.

Queer theatre and cinema still face challenges.

However, it is essential to acknowledge that LGBTQ theatre and cinema still face challenges and barriers. Despite progress, our queer stories are still underrepresented in mainstream media. Queer artists often struggle to secure funding and distribution for their projects. Trans artists have only recently been visible in theatre and cinema, and such appearances are still minimal.

Additionally, the portrayal of LGBTQI+ characters and narratives can sometimes be stereotypical or tokenistic, reinforcing harmful tropes and limiting the diversity of queer experiences.

In conclusion, queer theatre and cinema have played a vital role in the fight for LGBTQI+ rights and acceptance. These art forms have allowed us to share our stories, challenge societal norms, and foster community. While progress has been made, there is still work to ensure that our LGBTQI+ voices are heard and represented authentically in theatre and cinema.

The role of QX Magazine

QX magazine has been amplifying queer voices for over 25 years. We have been at the vanguard of trans visibility. We are delighted to be part of the growing movement that seeks to ensure that queer stories from all corners of our community are heard on the stage and screen and shared with the broader community.

You can visit the pages below to see some of the latest queer plays and films that we have highlighted.

Alex in Afterglow at Southwark Playhouse played by Victor Hugo

Afterglow: “Sexy and sensual” at Southwark Playhouse until 10 Feb.

S. Asher Gelman's international hit Afterglow is running at Southwark Playhouse Borough until 10 February 2024. Gelman himself directs this new 2024 production. "Sexy and sensual...Gelman gives each of...

Creatives Jade Anouka and Grace Savage talk ‘Heart’, Brixton House 23 Jan – 3...

Jade Anouka's debut play Heart is at Brixton House from 23 January to 3 January. It is a story told by a proud black LGBTQ+ woman...
All Of Us Strangers is a gay film about to be released in the UK.

All Of Us Strangers starring Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal in UK cinemas from...

Announcing the cinema release of All Of Us Strangers. One night in an almost empty high-rise in modern-day London, Adam (played by Andrew Scott) experiences...
One Year Itch playing at Barons Court Theatre in London

Awkward Branch Productions talk queer comedy in ‘One Year Itch’, Barons Court Theatre 9...

QX Magazine sat down with Awkward Branch Productions’ Anca Vaida and Andrew Phipps ahead of their new lesbian comedy, One Year Itch. Anca leads...
sleeping beauty takes a prick in pictures

Sleeping Beauty Takes A Prick in pictures.

Theatre Weekly says Sleeping Beauty Takes A Prick is "Easily the best adult pantomime in London". London Living Large reviewed it as "The total...

Linus Karp and Joseph Martin talk about their hugely successful Gwyneth Goes Skiing, as...

Due to incredible demand, Awkward Productions has announced an extended run for the sensationally silly Gwyneth Goes Skiing, at London's Pleasance Theatre in February 2024....
Ben Whishaw in Waiting For Godot

Ben Whishaw to star in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot.

Ben Whishaw and Lucian Msamati will star in a new production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot, directed by James Macdonald, opening at Theatre...
Glitzy Von Jagger on playing in Fairytale In Church Street

“One has had to step one’s moggy up”. Glitzy Von Jagger on playing in Fairytale...

Glitzy Von Jagger writes about playing in Fairytale on Church Street at The Cockpit Theatre, from 8 December to 30 December.  I am beyond thrilled...
Dreaming and Drowning black gay play in London

Award-winning play Dreaming and Drowning extends Bush Theatre run until 5 January.

Today, The Bush Theatre has announced that due to demand, the world premiere of the Mustapha Matura's Award-winning play Dreaming and Drowning will run until...
Reuben Kaye, The Butch Is Back, is a queer performer appearing at The Southbank Centre in London.

Reuben Kaye: The Butch is Back! at Southbank Centre, 8 – 30 December.

The only man coming down your chimney this year is Reuben Kaye. Smash the baubles and sling the tinsel in the canal! He'll be...

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