Pride month may be finished, but fear not, Camden Fringe has a wealth of LGBTQIA+ shows this year to keep the celebrations going. Here, festival organisers have highlighted eight that should be in your fringe diary.
Now in its 14th year, Camden Fringe, London’s alternative to Edinburgh Fringe, runs from 29 July and 25 August 2019 with over 300 shows across 30 different venues. And, from theatre to comedy to cabaret, the programme includes an incredible array of shows by LGBTQIA+ performers and companies, ensuring the conversation surrounding Pride will be very much continued all summer.
The critically acclaimed Moonchild Theatre are returning after their show Coelacanth last year with new production Faeries (3 August, The Cockpit), which sees two friends reconnect when one returns to vote in the 2015 Irish Referendum on same-sex marriage.
Playwright Callum O’Brien said:
“Considering the importance of this moment in time, it came as a surprise to find out how few people remember this event despite it occurring in the very recent past. No medium has given the referendum the importance it deserves, and so we have taken it upon ourselves to be the first to tell this story.”
First-timer Prospero Acronym, a drag wizard bringing his comedy/magic show Fencesitter to The Phoenix Artist Club (18-19 August), explained the excitement about performing at this year’s CFF: “Although I’m a professional magician this is my first fringe show, and my first full show in drag as a character. I’m both excited and terrified that a bisexual drag magic show might mean I’ve finally gone too niche!
“The process of applying, finding a venue, and registering was really easy, though. I just hope there’s an audience out there who want to see a genderqueer drag wizard pull someone’s sexuality out of a jar of marmite.”
Also on the drag line-up are graduates of The Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s The Art of Drag course come to the fringe for the first time with their show Drag What?! (7 August, The Phoenix Artist Club). Perrie Allore, performer in the show, said: “When people were asking many of our members: ‘What are you, a queen, a king… drag what?!’ It was clear there was a need to take that question and own it.” They added: “Drag is punk by nature and there is nowhere in London more punk than Camden!”
2019’s comedy line-up includes drag king comedy troupe The Bareback Kings bring their sketch show to The Tap Room (5-6 August) along with queer comedian Siân Docksey’s new show Canary: A Work in Progress (7-10 August) at the Etcetera Theatre.
On the theatre front there are shows including: Puttana (19-20 August, Hen and Chickens), exploring ageing as a gay person; Space Age Love Songs: A Queer Love Story (21-25 August), following a drag queen and a goth in a disco-fuelled 1980s American high school; and CAMP (21-23 August, The Hen and Chickens Theatre), described as a big f**k you to conversion camps.
CAMP producer and writer of Bitter Theatre, Kimberley Turford said: “We made this show as we wanted to see a positive play about being in the queer community, whilst reflecting on queer allyship. We wanted to investigate how we can support and understand each other better whilst celebrating everything being queer stands for.”
Full festival programme
For details on all 300+ shows in the 2019 Camden Fringe programme, visit the festival websiteClick here