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Breach Theatre Presents AFTER THE ACT Beginning This Month

Performances run 28 February – 1 April 2023.

Breach Theatre Presents AFTER THE ACT Beginning This Month

A new documentary musical from Breach Theatre examines the dark period of UK history when Section 28 prohibited the 'promotion' of homosexuality in schools, and the knock-on effect on the queer community today. It has been 35 years since Section 28 was voted into law by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government, and 20 years since its repeal. Award winning devised theatre makers Breach Theatre (It's True, It's True, It's True) debut their brand-new musical with a queer cast of performers who grew up during the time the legislation was in action. Every word in the show is taken from interviews the company has undertaken with students, activists, and teachers, as well as from tabloid articles and news clips from the era. After the Act takes its title inspiration from Before the Act, a night of entertainment and protest in response to the clause in 1988.

Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act prohibited the 'promotion' of homosexuality by schools and local authorities. It was passed by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government at the height of the AIDS crisis, amidst right-wing media hysteria about "loony lezzies", "plague-ridden poofters" and the danger they posed to children. Local councils and state schools erred on the side of caution and, for the most part, avoided mention of homosexuality during these years - putting teachers in a difficult situation and leaving pupils in the dark. After years of opposition by different campaign groups, and gradually shifting public opinion, Section 28 was repealed by New Labour in 2003.

Ellice and Billy from Breach theatre said, "As part of the generation that grew up under section 28, this is a story that's hugely personal to us as well as political. The moral panic of the 1980's over LGBT-inclusive education had an enormous impact on our coming of age and sense of ourselves as young queer people in the 90's and noughties. It's been fascinating and a real privilege to speak to so many LGBT people of a slightly older generation who remember the fight for and against section 28, and to people of all ages on its impact on them. We hope that by telling their stories,anyone who comes to see the show - will be inspired to continue the fight for lgbt rights and representation."

"We don't want our children taught some rubbish about homosexual marriage being the same as normal marriage." - Boris Johnson, 2000

Breach is an award-winning theatre company led by Billy Barrett, Ellice Stevens and Dorothy Allen-Pickard, they combine a forensic documentary research with bold and inventive devised theatremaking. Shows include The Beanfield (2015) - Total Theatre Award winner, TANK (2016) - Scotsman Fringe First Winner. It's True, It's True, It's True (2018) - UNTAPPED Award, Scotsman Fringe First, The Stage Edinburgh Award winner, and previous musical collaboration with Frew Joan of Leeds at New Diorama Theatre in 2019.

Frew is an award-winning composer, musical director, sound designer and performer. Frew is an associate artist of Middle Child Theatre and Boundless Theatre, he is also an affiliate artist of Hull Truck Theatre. Frew is currently developing A New Television show with Maia Pictures. Composition credits include The Whispering Jungle (Concrete Youth); Our Town Needs A Nandos (Liverpool Everyman); Joan of Leeds (Breach Theatre); Sketching (Wilton's Music Hall); Steel (Sheffield Crucible); Mixtape (Royal Exchange); The Hundred and One Dalmatians (Birmingham Rep); Twelfth Night (Orange Tree); Folk (Birmingham Rep/Watford Palace/Hull Truck); Get Carter (Northern Stage/UK Tour); Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, A Taste of Honey (Hull Truck); The Thing About Psychopaths (Red Ladder Theatre/National Tour). For Middle Child as Composer and Musical Director - There Should Be Unicorns (Co-composer and Musical Director); We Used To Closer Than This (Composer and Musical Director); Canary and The Crow (Co-Composer and Musical Director), Us Against Whatever, Beauty and the Beast, One Life Stand, I Hate Alone, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything (with Paines Plough / Bush Theatre), Mercury Fur, Weekend Rockstars: An Album Play (with Hull Truck), Modern Life Is Rubbish: A Musical Manifesto, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning and as Musical Director for Pantomimes - Robin Hood: Prince of Thorngumbald, Repunz'Ull, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Jack and The Beanstalk, Dick Whittington and The Snow Queen. Musical Director and Performer credits include The Snow Queen (New Vic Theatre); Dancehall (Cast, Doncaster); The Night Before Christmas (Soho Theatre). Musical Director and Orchestrator credits include Seagulls (Bolton Octagon).

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Review: MARJORIE PRIME, Menier Chocolate Factory Photo
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Running at around 50 minutes, it’s snappy and positively Gen-Z in pace and subject. Fernandes crafts a script that wanders from deliciously colloquial to slightly expository, but remains solid throughout. Mundane conversations about parties and cleaning rotas act as the foundation for the pair’s bond, which is bound to be tested and tried once Jacob’s actions are revealed. At its core, it’s a story of friendship and loyalty camouflaged as a crime drama exploring the stigmatisation of sexual violence.

Photos: First Look At English National Operas THE DEAD CITY (DIE TOTE STADT) Photo
See production images for the English National Opera's The Dead City (Die tote Stadt), running 25 March - 8 April 2023.

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