by Chay Brown (he/him)
When I turned up to see The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but my assumptions were:
1. I’ll probably enjoy it.
2. Their PR team had kindly invited me along, so there were definitely trans characters in it. I assumed that trans people would be the supporting characters to the cis, white, gay male protagonists (because we often are).
I was right with one and a half of my assumptions. I did enjoy it – I found it funny and thought provoking. There was at least one trans person in the cast (I say at least because, contrary to the belief of some people, you can’t “always tell”) and far from being there as a token of inclusivity, she was a central protagonist. Actually it was hard to take my eyes off Kit Green, not because I know they’re trans but because of her really quite compelling stage presence. I must also mention Yandass, who brings a real energy and physicality to the stage.
The performance, based on a 1977 book by Larry Mitchell and Ned Asta, puts white cisheteropatriarchy (the world run by white, cis, straight men) under the spotlight. With strong messages of solidarity and perseverance against oppression and corruption, the message couldn’t feel more relevant or important.
The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions is the queerest thing I’ve seen in a while, and I’ve seen some very queer things. It was unconventional – I’ve never seen someone play a wine glass live on stage before, nor will I look at paper the same way again – but that’s only part of what made it so queer.
Pretty much everything about the production is subversive. I particularly enjoyed the cast’s use of the establishment’s tools to dismantle the establishment. By which I mean, the use of operatic singing to drive the narrative forward, the use of what I think of as “orchestra instruments” to provide the melody, and the use of surtitles (the things they use to show people the words at the opera) for a good old sing-a-long part way through. Amongst other things.
Spoiler alert: the ‘faggots and their friends’ do indeed win the revolution, with a rousing call for solidarity between marginalised people to work together against our shared oppressors.
If you happen to be in London between now and 28th January, see if you can get a ticket and go along to the Southbank Centre and see this incredibly talented cast of performers.