Archives for WeRaise

Outside, looking in

Veteran gay activist Ted Brown, who came out before LGBT people had any rights in the UK, has dedicated his life to combating racism and homophobia since joining the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) in 1970, after meeting a group of activists picketing The Boys in the Band in London’s West End. Ted Brown had been aware of his feelings for other boys at school when he was 11 or 12, but it was the discovery of a Tom of Finland book in a Popular Books store in New Cross, London, when he was 15 that convinced him this was not a phase. “I

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Answering the call of the dancefloor

He was playing Donna Summer records at his sister’s house parties when he was still at primary school, won a DJ contest when he was still a teenager in Italy, and has been spinning at Horse Meat Disco for more than a decade. Who better to DJ our preview party than Severino Panzetta? From the moment we started organising the preview night for We Raise Our Hands In The Sanctuary at The Albany this summer, our first choice to DJ the after-party was Severino Panzetta, the languidly approachable resident at Horse Meat Disco, the south London gay night that no less an authority than legendary

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The thump of the music, like some powerful creature barely contained

Steve Swindells, the club promoter, musician, photographer and all-round creative, reflects on how he put together the pioneering and inclusive LGBT club The Lift in the 1980s, and helped inspire gay novelist Alan Hollinghurst. Tracking queer spaces of the past can be tricky when there is so little trace left in the present – even when the past in question is the relatively recent 1980s, the era in which we have set our new show, We Raise Our Hands In The Sanctuary. The wrecking ball has demolished the bricks and mortar of many spaces, change of ownership or wholesale refurbishment has

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Dancing to a different beat in Deptford: from Outdance to We Raise Our Hands

  Back in the late 1980s, the Albany used to host a weekly LGBT club night that attracted hundreds of revellers from the local community and beyond every Saturday. Former promoter Brendan Nash explains how it all came about. The Albany in Deptford has a fantastic tradition of developing LGBTQ work like our new show We Raise Our Hands In The Sanctuary, which tells a gay friendship story set in the 1980s London underground gay club scene. Around the same time they scheduled a week of research and development for this show as part of their Hatched new writing programme,

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We are all dancers

Choreographer Mina Aidoo talks to Inky Cloak about her approach to choreographing the trailer for our new show. What drew you to the project to choreograph the trailer for We Raise Our Hands In The Sanctuary? Disco! That was it. I really love disco music. I already knew Earth Wind & Fire and all the classic American acts, so it was fascinating to explore some different aspects of the genre through the references you gave me, such as early ’80s boogie (So You Wanna Be A Star by Mtume) and Italo disco (Spacer Woman by Charlie). It helped situate me in

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Making this piece visually accessible to everyone

Designer Ingrid Hu talks to Inky Cloak about her approach to designing the set and costumes for We Raise Our Hands In The Sanctuary. How did you approach the task of production design? Did you start with an overall concept or did you find the concept through research? It’s a bit of both actually, I think in the beginning there was a very clear direction in terms of knowing that it was not going to be a direct recreation of Eighties London club spaces. Then the research was rather selective because of that. The potential not having a fixed stage and

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“I’m not a drag queen, but I have done an awful lot of drag”

Carl Mullaney, who plays Brandi in We Raise Our Hands In The Sanctuary, has been performing in drag since he left drama school – in Chicago, Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens and even The Bill. Interviewed during the second week of performances, he reflects on the challenges of bringing Brandi to the stage.   In what ways do you feel like you identify with your character? I can identify with the character of Brandi because she is a (for want of a better phrase) a nightclub entertainer and I have an element of that in my life. When you

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It’s all about valuing the drive to be who you want to be

Oseloka Obi, who plays ambitious stage electrics student Joseph in We Raise Our Hands In The Sanctuary, reveals how he connects to what, for him, is the biggest theme of the play – becoming the person you yourself want to be. What is your relationship to the themes of the play? The theme that most resonates between me and the play, is that fundamentally, it’s about being who you want to be and I think that’s something that I’ve always valued and been aware of so the idea of these characters, these people in this world doing what they want to do

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Playing a character who is not the average black man seen on stage

Jahvel Hall, who plays up-and-coming 1980s DJ Michael in We Raise Our Hands In The Sanctuary, explains how he researched a complex character who faces down the homophobia, racism and HIV/AIDS prejudice of the 1980s. How has the rehearsal process been for you, how does it compare to other productions you have done? Having three weeks instead of four or more was a bit intense, we sort of hit the ground running which was good. I think the main thing about the rehearsal process for me – aside from getting lines, getting the dialogue out and practising it with the other actors on stage –

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Chanelling a sense of a character’s potent sexuality

Dean Graham, who plays club promoter Paul in We Raise Our Hands In The Sanctuary, talks about how his performance has evolved in the rehearsal room and on the stage. How did you prepare for the role of Paul? Well obviously, I did a lot of research that [writers and directors] Daniel and Martin passed over to me and I followed that. I was also really interested in notions of masculinity. I think that there’s a lot that you can take from your own life as a man and your relationship to your own father. I think it’s one of

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