Mon10Jun201920:00Alphabetti TheatreSt James BoulevardNewcastle Upon TyneNE1 4HP
The Queer People's History Show goes to Newcastle as part of the Curious Arts Festival.
Bird la Bird's Travelling Queer People's History Show is a spoof lecture which takes a DIY punk approach to history. This is history for the Netflix generation, squashing a box set-worth of true queer stories into a show.
Beginning in the vast prison that once stood on the site of today's Tate Britain, Bird lovingly traces the lives of queer prisoners across centuries and continents. Flinging open the doors of the queer past she lays bare the interlocking histories of the British Empire, class exploitation and homophobia and links this to contemporary issues of global LGBTQI refugees.
The Queer People's History Show decolonises LGTBI history by taking an inclusive, irreverent approach to the past. Bird uses Scouse humour to make history engaging and relevant to contemporary audiences.
One of the most remarkable stories in the show is the life of Alonzo Johnson, who may be one of the first genderqueer people in Newcastle's history. Alonzo was a travelling musician who was sentenced to death for the so-called crime of sodomy in 1844 in Newcastle, along with their lover David Denham. The sentence was reduced to transportation to a penal colony. The show follows the journey Alonzo and David took to the worst penal colony in the British Empire. Alonzo and David's lives and punishment are part of Newcastle's queer heritage. Bird is honoured to remember them in the city.
The show is accessible, with integrated audio description (voiceover by Liz Carr –Silent Witness) and captions offered wherever possible.
"It's like Horrible Histories for queer adults"
- History lecturer type, Birmingham University
"Bird is the best history teacher you never had"
- Liz Carr
"It's a hugely important insight into LGBTQ+ history that'll leave you both enlightened and angry"
- Diva Mag