Two plays commissioned for this year’s National Festival of LGBT History will be performed in conjunction with the SEXing the Past 2017 academic conference. The two dramas from Inkbrew Productions mark 50 years since the 1967 Sexual Offences Act and have featured in a recent article in the Guardian.
‘The Burnley Bugger’s Ball’ is by award-winning playwright Stephen M Hornby and directed by Matt Hassall. It tells the story of a transformative public meeting held at Burnley Central Library in 1971. The meeting was about the right to open the first ever LGBT centre and saw activists in London join forces with activists from the North West to take on the Establishment.
‘Burnley’s Lesbian Liberator’ is by Abi Hynes and directed by Helen Parry. It dramatises the political activism of Mary Winter, a bus driver sacked for wearing a ‘Lesbian Liberation’ badge. Unsupported by her trade union, she fought back against her employers in 1978 using a network of women’s groups across the UK.
Both plays are made possible by funding from the Arts Council of England and patronage by Russell T Davies. The TV writer and producer famous for Doctor Who and Queer As Folk, said:
This is precisely what LGBT History Month should be doing, uncovering hidden history, finding great stories and bringing them to life again for new audiences. And who knew they’d both be about Burnley! It’s marvelous to think of this mill town in East Lancashire being the centre of the struggle for UK gay and lesbian rights in the 1970s.
The Liverpool performance is scheduled for 17:30 on Saturday 4th March. The plays will be staged as a double bill with a running time of 75 minutes. A number of free tickets are reserved for conference delegates: CLICK HERE to register.