Travelling Queer People’s History Show (TQPHS)

Bird peering over her glasses looking into the camera. She's wearing full academic drag. PInk mortice board hat and gown made from pink and gold curtains.

Direction and Dramaturgy Jan Willem Van Bosch

The history show you’ve always dreamed of!


Laugh out loud funny!

Bird dressed as Queen Victoria holding a Banksy image of Queen Victoria sitting on the face of a stocking clad female figure
Bird dressed as Queer Victoria – photo in projection by Holly Revell

Deep Queer history!

Bird's shadow in the corner of a projection of text 'The Worst of the Worst'



Bird in academic drag standing in front of large project of her dog Trixie walking on the cliffs of Dorset
Still from history show – Bird in front of her dog Trixie dog of history

About the show

The Travelling Queer People’s History Show takes the audience on a startling journey underneath the foundations of some of Britain’s biggest galleries to uncover a hidden history of queer prisoners, prisons and penal colonies.

Beginning  on the site of Tate Britain, performer Bird la Bird then follows the route of queer prisoners transported to Australia to trace the global and colonial story of convicts and transportation.

Then for balance, Bird flips her attention to the the elite white colonialists responsible for anti-gay laws cutting them down to size using humour and historical material.

Using laugh out loud comedy, high femme glamour and a working class point of view, Bird takes the usually stuffy format of a history lecture and transforms it into relevant, informative and inclusive entertainment.

Bird la Bird flings the doors of the queer past wide open bringing important historical information which is often glaringly overlook into the open for all audiences, not just academics. This show will probably change the way audiences think about queer history and inspire curiosity to find out more.

Audience reaction

Audience reaction to the pilot version of the history has been incredible. Culminating in a massive standing ovation from the capacity crowd at the Queer and Now festival at Tate Britain in June 2018.

“Revolutionary” – E.J. Scott

The show has been described as “revolutionary” by historian and curator of the Museum of Transology EJ Scott.

“Almost life changing”
– Jules @blackacrylic

Thank you Jules @blackacrylic from the Kipepeo podcast  (feature on Queer and Now festival from 11.41 minutes) broadcasting from London to Lagos.

About Bird la Bird’s history tours and shows

For the past 6 years performance artist Bird la Bird has been creating hugely popular queer history tours and events for some of Britain’s top museums. Bird has broken free of the museums and brought some of the best material together to tour around the UK and beyond. Her aim is to educate herself about the interlocking histories of homophobia, the British Empire, discrimination and class exploitation then share what she’s learnt with her audience.

Jan Willem Van Bosch

Jan Willem Van Bosch has brought his extensive background in diverse and inclusive theatre, his passion for queer visibility and history and eye for detail to the history show.

What’s happening now?

The Travelling Queer People’s history show is supported by the Duckie family who are providing fundraising support and production when the show goes into the next stage of development. The dream is to further develop and improve the show then travel with it both in the UK and internationally.