Performer and writer Kim Scopes’ fun and exciting new play Somewhere to Belong, looking at the challenges of stereotypes about the bi community in a new way, will run at London’s Lion and Unicorn Theatre from 27 to 31 July 2021 (Press Night is 28 July).
According to The Bisexual Report: Bisexual inclusion in LGBTQ equality and diversity, of all the larger sexuality groups, bisexual people have the worst mental health problems, including high rates of depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidality. This has been found both internationally and in the UK specifically, and has been strongly linked to experiences of biphobia and bisexual invisibility.
To shine a light on these experiences, bisexual writer and performer Kim Scopes has been talking to individuals worldwide who identify as being attracted to more than one gender, to develop a collection of contemporary, real-life experiences on the subject. Bringing together these stories from a global LGBT+ community, Somewhere to Belong is a heart-warming comedy taking audiences on a journey through a collection of real queer experiences, in search of a place to fit in.
Performer and writer Kim Scopes said:
“I’ve known since I was a teenager that I was bi, and ‘came out’ in my early 30s – but I still didn’t feel like I qualified as being queer. I started to talk to friends, fellow members of the Bi+ community and otherwise, and I noticed that similar experiences were being recounted: being called greedy, confused or indecisive, expectations of infidelity, being dismissed. And the more I talked to people about it, the more I wanted to talk to more people about it. That’s how the idea for the show came about – building a community of voices through just talking.”
The creative team behind Somewhere to Belong conducted over 40 interviews with a diverse group of individuals. Whilst each conversation was unique and compelling in its own way, key themes kept returning that connected to feeling invisible, dismissed, or lacking a sense of community.
By weaving these interviews directly into the show’s narrative, the production hopes to share these experiences with a wider audience, carving out a space for these voices where they can explored and celebrated. The interviews conducted will be developed into an online archive and resource that will be accessible to everyone.
Producers Sycorax Collective in association with Laura Furner are still seeking new conversations to add to the archive, and hope to continue building a network of voices and experiences that reflect the range of these experiences.
Audiences are guided through these accounts by Kim, whose own experience is sometimes validated and sometimes challenged by what she hears. By engaging with these different people and their points of view, we are taken with the writer and actress on a journey about her own sexuality – what it means to be bi, whether it’s the right label for her, and whether she’s queer enough to be making the show itself.
Honest and self-reflective, Somewhere to Belong creates a community of voices told through a single character, and invites the audiences to laugh, question and dance their way through Kim’s journey.
Directed by Gwenan Bain, Somewhere to Belong has dramaturgy by Amelia Stubberfield, lighting design by Emily Keeble and sound design by Andrea Giordani.
Kim Scopes is an actor, puppeteer, theatre maker and writer. Credits, which have regularly received five and four-star reviews, include A Christmas Carol adapted by Patrick Barlow and starring Jim Broadbent in London’s West End, Strange Hill High for CBBC, Newzoids for ITV, Don’t Worry Little Crab with Folded Feather for the Little Angel Theatre, the Blue by Sycorax Collective for which she received a ‘standing ovation nomination’, Boris and Sergey by Flabbergast Theatre, AAAAA by Proforca Theatre and Becca’s Brunch ‘for Nick Jnr. Kim is one of the founders of Sycorax Collective, which is also an associate artist of the Lion and Unicorn Theatre.
Running for one hour, Somewhere to Belong plays at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town from 27 to 31 July 2021. Shows are at 7.30pm and tickets cost £12 (£10 concessions).