Bird la Bird’s Travelling Queer People’s History Show is a spoof lecture which takes a DIY punk approach to history.
Three years in the making, this is EPIC queer history for the Netflix generation squashing a boxset worth of true queer stories into one 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 the doors of the queer past open she lays bare the interlocking histories of the British Empire, class exploitation, racism and homophobia and links this to contemporary issues of global LGBTQI refugees.
Each prisoner’s story is a jewel in this treasure trove of stories. Providing tantalising glimpses into the lives of 19th Century queer men of colour, sex workers, homeless people, intersex people and street musicians.
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.
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.
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.
Inclusive performance every time
The Queer People’s History Show aims to make queer history accessible in every way including:
- Integrated audio description experienced by the whole audience
- Touch tours for vision impaired audiences
- Only working with step free venues
- Providing live captions in almost every performance (provided by MyClearText)
- Low cost or free tickets
- Low or no alcohol spaces
The show features a hilarious, informative and emotional audio description narrated by Liz Carr also featuring Dickie Beau and Adam Scott Rawley. The voiceover integrates audio description for vision impaired audiences with additional commentary and information.
A hilarious, accessible and eye-opening eveningDiva Mag
Audience reaction to the show has been incredible. Including in a massive standing ovation from the capacity crowd at the Queer and Now festival at Tate Britain in June 2018.
“I’ve never been anywhere that tried so hard to be inclusive – loved the live subtitles”
“Bird gave me an important lesson in my history and the performance needs to be seen and broadcast!”
“Should be taken to schools/colleges!”
See diary page.
Watch this space for more info about the historians whose work inspired the show.
Researched, written and performed
Bird la Bird
Early version of “Who created the crime?” devised in collaboration with Dr Rohit K Dasgupta.
Director & Dramaturg
Jan Willem van den Bosch
- starring Liz Carr with
- Dickie Beau
- Andrew McCloud
- Adam Scott Rawley
- Michael Achtmann
- Jan Willem Van Bosch
- Amelia Cavallo
- Audio description & Accessibility
- Intersex rights
- QTIPOC history
- Travelling theatres
- History Daddy
They / Them
Painting of Trixie
Sarah Jane Moon
Producer – pilot tour
Dan De La Motte
Mentoring and fundraising – pilot tour
Cameo, Muse and Queer People’s Puppy
With love and thanks
Bev Skeggs and Jane Czyzelska for believing in the show.
Nicole Barakat for research assistance.
Sadie Lee, Fiona Shaw, Dawn Hoskins and Zorian Clayton for letting me loose in the museum.
Ruth Holliday and Jon Binnie for friendship and teaching me about queer geography.