OUTLAWS TO IN-LAWS
A show dedicated to the triumphs, struggles and joys of gay men connecting with each other over the last seven decades. From outright illegality to the advent of gay marriage in the UK.
Through seven short stories Outlaws to In-Laws explored some of the choices gay men have made within a social history of intolerance, violence and hate. A fictional exploration of gay men in the throes of undeniable passion, young love, risky love, secret love and even old-fashioned romance. The world premier of these plays were staged at the King’s Head Theatre, London 29 August – 23 September 2017.
Philip Meeks – Happy and Glorious
On the day of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation, South London lad, Dennis follows a young man away from the celebrating crowds to an apartment overlooking Westminster Abbey. He soon discovers a world far away from his own and within a matter of hours he falls in and out of love. As the new monarch is crowned Dennis’ life will never be the same again.
Jonathan Harvey – Mister Tuesday
In their own little love nest, Peter loves Jimmy and Jimmy loves Peter – but only every Tuesday. Peter wants more from Jimmy but Jimmy has a sensitive job, a wife, and baby on the way. Frustrated, Peter makes Jimmy a bleak offer to make sure he won’t flee the nest.
Jonathan Kemp – Reward
It’s the Queen’s Jubilee. Donald, a sweet sixteen American meets Spike, a skinhead at a bus stop in a dodgy part of town. The attraction is instant. Except Spike belongs to the National Front and Donald is black. Will their love take them to a place of reward or punishment?
Patrick Wilde – 1984
The Conservative Party Conference is about to start and Tommy and Allan find themselves under Brighton Pier except the time for hiding in the shadows should be over. Allan, Thatcher’s aide, is preparing to help legislate against gay people until suddenly the political and the personal become a matter of life and death.
Matt Harris – In Diana We Trust
A disastrous night out with his boyfriend, a drag career that has crashed before it’s barely started and all seems lost until Diana finds a rather attractive, naked stranger in the flat.
Topher Campbell – Brothas 2.0
Dwayne, a muscular, attractive Jamaican immigrant and his overweight, plain university friend, Remi are chilling and chatting to guys online. After Dwayne finds a hot date for the night – with benefits he discovers Remi is using a fake profile…
Joshua Val Martin – The Last Gay Play
Anyone can get cold feet before getting married but hiding in the chapel belfry isn’t the answer. Will the Father get the groom to the altar or will he have to sacrifice the church roof for his son’s happiness?
Outlaws to In-Laws plays are all fictional stories. They are not intended to be documentary nor are they meant to be representative of gay men’s experience in Britain over the decades, rather an imagined snapshot of what it must have been like to live in the times depicted.
They are also, hopefully, a celebration of the journey from the darkness of oppression to the light of increasing equality.
Why only gay men?
When we originally conceived the show we were soon faced with the reality that the LGBT story is a vast and complex one to render into fictional theatre. Let alone one show. There are, as we know, as many stories as there are people so we decided there needed to be some artistic decision making to do.
As a starting point for the Outlaws to In-Laws project we made a decision as gay men to concentrate on the stories closest to our own hearts and our own experiences.
We also felt as gay men that we have been at the ‘front line’ of conflict within our patriarchal culture in a way that is more visible to the general population than the other gender or sexuality based minority communities. Horrific images of gay men being thrown off buildings in other countries in the name of religion or other horrific acts perpetrated around the world today are an example of this.
There is currently a much needed debate about gay men’s privilege and prejudice towards other minority groups and sub-groups but this doesn’t mean we don’t still have a need to tell our stories to the world.
Outlaws to In-Laws is a reminder to ourselves and others of the need to cherish and celebrate the gains we have made and the work we still need to keep doing to achieve true equality for all in the UK.
Peter / Jimmy / Alan / Calvin – Elliot Balchin
Peter / Spike / Dan / Robin – Jack Bence
Arthur / Terry / Ted – Paul Carroll
Dennis / Tyler / Femi – Myles Devontè
Donald / Dwayne / Zak – Michael Duke
Edward / Tommy / Shane – Alex Marlow
PRESS & REVIEWS
★★★★★ Boyz magazine
★★★★★ Gay About Town
★★★★ Broadway World
★★★★ London Theatre 1
★★★★ The Spy In The Stalls
★★★★ Live Theatre UK
★★★★ Art Drop
★★★★ The Londonist
★★★★ The Gay UK
★★★★ QX Magazine
★★★★ Remote Goat
“A remarkably deft and sensitive production… a well-chosen and wonderfully versatile ensemble of six actors.” – Independent
“…endearing performances” – Culture by Night
“A versatile six-strong cast” – Time Out
“An ambitious project… Mary Franklin’s staging shifts nicely between plays” – The Stage
“Taut, poignant and precise… Striking” – The Times
“An extraordinary set of plays” – The Remote Goat
“Poignant and sometimes heart-breaking stories are exposed in captivating performances, providing an absorbing summary of the path gay men have trodden over 70 years” – Art Drop
“A major achievement this is the kind of theatre that has the capacity to inspire & change lives” – Live Theatre UK
“The cast were wonderful, switching between roles and eras with seamless perfection.” – The Spy In The Stalls
“6 actors playing a total of 20 very varied roles – A really impressive feat.” – London Theatre 1
“A powerful, important look at queer history” – Broadway World
“Outlaws to In-laws is a pure delight. A truly magical theatrical experience. You will leave the theatre having been totally entertained and moved. Theatre like this is to be treasured and celebrated.” – Boyz Magazine