Last week we lost the Above the Stag Theatre, 72 Albert Embankment, Inner London, SE1 7TP. It is not the first time that a theatre has closed, currently, Theatres at Risk Register 2022 shows 41 theatres in the UK at risk of being closed or moved into different usage, and there is no dedicated LGBT+ theatre in Northern Ireland.
But what was special about Above the Stag was that it was a charity and the UK’s only exclusively LGBT+ Theatre. This is a massive loss to our community; writers of plays and musicals for our community no longer have a specific outlet. They now will need to compete against mainstream theatre items whose (rightly) focus will be on generating revenue and keeping their premises open – and the way to do that is to put on items that will be of interest to the mainstream of society.
Yes, we are lucky in the UK to have various festivals, like the Edinburgh Fringe, which allow things to be produced of such a varied and wide nature. Indeed the playwright Patrick Wilde had the play put on, and I have been trying to find a company in Northern Ireland (without success) to have Couldn’t Make it Up (by Patrick) or James Martin Charlton’s play ‘Desire of Frankenstein’ put on in Northern Ireland.
We are lucky that the Lyric and the MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) do put on LGBTQ+ plays etc, as indeed does the QFT (Queen’s Film Theatre), but it would be so tremendous to have a theatre and a theatre company dedicated to our community.
The loss of Above the Stag Theatre is felt deeply in our community; I hope that is able to be re-established in a new location but to expand that would be wonderful, and wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could get 5-6 regional theatres that expressly produce LGBTQ+ material for our community
- Above the Stag
- Broadway World – Above The Stag Theatre Announces Closure
- Tommy at Greenwich Theatre
- Miss Saigon (School Edition)