Norwich’s LGBT community is celebrating a decade of leading the push to make the city a place where everyone can feel safe and proud to be themselves.
With the 10th Norwich Pride all set for Saturday, July 28, Norwich Theatre Royal is joining the celebrations with a programme of activities called Creative Pride.
It will include the chance for the public to suggest gay icons whose portraits could be added to a large 8ft high by 24ft wide art installation by renowned cartoonist and illustrator David Shenton, who lives in Norwich.
David Shenton, whose humorous, fun and fresh artworks have been published in national journals and British newspapers for over 40 years, will make up a series of large moveable panels decorated in the style of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album cover. They will be displayed during July around the Theatre Royal’s buildings. The artwork will also be a feature of the 2018 Norwich Pride March on July 28 and will be on display to the public in the theatre during that day. It is hoped the public will pop into the theatre to take their own photos alongside the images of their favourite icons on the panels.
In addition to this exciting interactive art installation, on Tuesday, July 24, in Stage Two, there will be a live performance of OUT140 – a micro-storytelling project created by Shelly Telly for the Norwich Pride celebrations. OUT140 began as a multimedia show on the Fusion screen in the Forum for LGBT History Month in 2010, where it displayed people’s coming out stories in 140 characters or less. The original work toured as an exhibition in galleries in Norwich, Cromer, Folkestone and Brighton, before being printed as a book. It has since been performed as a micro-concert of songs by the Sing with Pride choir, and is now being developed into a stage play. Admission is £5.
On Wednesday and Thursday, July 25 & 26, Stage Two will host Kate O’Donnell presenting You’ve Changed. It’s 15 years since Kate transitioned and a lot has changed. Through song, dance, hard-won wit and wisdom, she collaborates with choreographers, musicians and filmmakers to explore the ins and outs and ups and downs of transitioning. Admission is £12 (£10 concs).
Everyone’s favourite boy-next-door, Stephen Bailey will tackle everything from celebrity culture and dating to politics and working-class family life in his own distinct and outrageously honest gossipy style. He’s on stage in Can’t Think Straight in Stage Two on Friday, July 27, admission £14 (£12 concs), in a show suitable for 16+ years.
Over at Norwich Playhouse on Friday, July 27, La Voix, one of the UK’s leading variety performers will offer plenty of razzle-dazzle for Creative Pride with stunning live vocals delivering sound alike singing performances of some of the world’s biggest divas such as Cher, Liza Minnelli, Shirley Bassey & Judy Garland, all mixed in with hilarious comedy and finished off with some magnificent gowns. Tickets are priced from £17.50 to £20.
The week of activities will wrap up with a Theatre Crafts and Tales free drop-in session back in Stage Two on July 28, offering families the chance to join in Pride celebrations with a riot of rainbow related craft activities such as making your own Pride flag, crown and much more! The session will be suitable for ages four-plus and all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Members of the public who would like to put forward names of gay icons for potential inclusion on the Creative Pride art installation by David Shenton should email their suggestions through to email@example.com