Out Stage Us

Tue 27 September - Thu 29 September


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Hive North return to The Lowry to present OutStageUs, the UK’s most exciting LGBTQ+ new writing event. Now in its fifth year, OutStageUs will showcase ten electrifying brand-new short plays and spoken word pieces by some of the UK’s most exciting LGBTQ+ writers.

OutStageUs is a fearlessly bold celebratory night of theatre addressing and exploring issues of sexuality and gender identity. Created by LGBTQ+ artists, the new work will break down barriers and give an authentic voice to a community still fighting for equality.

Prepare to be entertained, excited, invigorated and inspired as we celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and its rich history of defiance and activism. This collection of funny, moving, and inspiring new writing will give our community strength, optimism, and a voice.

Audience Reactions to OutStageUs ‘21
“My first OutStageUs and just wow. Such sensitive, funny, creative treatment of current issues.”
“Hugely important queer theatre. Simply not available anywhere else. Vibrant, funny and essential”
“Brilliantly acted, poignant, funny and explored themes, issues and emotions that gave us a voice”

OutStageUs is supported using public funding by Arts Council England

Featured Scripts

Guy Lines by Robert Holtom

Guy Lines is an exploration of the huge changes in the perception of male sexuality over the 16+ years since Robert was at school, he came of age in a time when you were either straight (good) or gay (bad), and bisexuality was constantly dismissed. Guy Lines honours the pain of this legacy while celebrating the changes it has created.

Strawberry Jam by Ribh Ireland

Strawberry Jam, at its heart, is simply a conversation. Two people talking about love. Even though we may not always have the language to describe love, out of the great big emotional line-up we can pick it out a mile off. So, what happens when this label is taken away? What happens then? And what happens when you have to explain it to someone who hasn’t got the foggiest idea what it is?

Birthday Waltz by Paul Fairweather

Inspired by a Birthday Waltz for Paul’s 60th birthday at La Vie en Rose, the Queer Tango Festival in Paris, this piece looks at over four decades of LGBTQ+ activism and celebrates and remembers campaigns, pickets, clubbing, and friendships. Written during lockdown this is Paul’s first ever stage script.

Fabulous Family by Nick Maynard

For too long all LGBTQ+ theatre has only been about coming out or dying. We are so much more than that. We need our stories write large. We need our lives documenting. That’s what stops us from being invisible. That’s what stops us from being victims… When we learn that we can be heroes!

If Being Gay Was A Choice by Nejmi Usta

Some people are convinced that being gay is a choice, inspiring Nejmi to write Gay Choice. The piece was created using real life experience of falling in love, feeling part of a community and a family that is not related by blood, and some of the prejudice that members of the LGBTQ+ community face.

Taking Stock by Lydia Brickland

As a writer Lydia likes to explore difficult and challenging topics through humour and playfulness. Although James is going through the ringer at work he does it with comedy, he’s got the gift of the gab and he is sure as hell going to use that gab.

Boxers and Soxers by James McDermott

Quentin Crips said ‘before two men have sex, they have to have a board meeting’ to discuss who does what and what goes where. This quote inspired the drama of Boxers and Soxers, a short play following two young men at different points in their sexuality journey as they negotiate sleeping together for the first time in real time.

Spark by Caitlin Magnall-Kearns

Caitlin’s inspiration was conversations with a lot of her queer friends about “categories” and the boxes people put themselves and others in. It’s a love story, and one that questions the need for these self-imposed restrictions. Plus-size male bodies are rarely seen as objects of desire in the media, and Caitlin is really proud this intimate piece will finally be seen by a live audience.

A Transgender Clown and a Frack-Happy Tory by Bobbie Warner

Stories about trans people are rarely written for or by trans people, and therefore focus on suffering and victimisation. Bobbie wanted to explore the heaviness of navigating life as transgender through a more joyful, optimistic lens, and by showing two flawed human beings whose personal lives are made political through no choice of their own.

Fanny’s Your Aunt by Bob Leaver

‘Fanny’s Your Aunt’ – an absurd comedy, murder mystery – carries on the ‘Carry On’ tradition but takes it in a direction that even Frankie Howard could never have imagined!

They by Alice Hancock

Alice came out as non-binary last year, and sometimes found it a struggle to be accepted by the people around them. That frustration, and continued invalidation by people who don’t mean to be hurtful, provided the inspiration for the character of Ash. The daily ‘she’s and ‘her’s have taken them to this point where they’re wondering if other people will ever see them the way they see themself, and that can hurt.