Saturday, 25 January 2014

Pride

The Pride has more five star accolades than Trip Advisor and is, simply put, one of the best things I've seen on the stage, and I've seen Ian McKellen's dick at The Globe.

A striped back production and cast of four tell the story of finding one's self, or to be more specific, one's gay self, with two juxtaposing plots separated by time. Oliver, Philip and Sylvia exist simultaneously in 1958 and the present day, but their love triangle alters in tune with the changing attitudes towards homosexuality. A powerful and at times funny piece that shines a light on the intricacies of human interaction behind the headline-grabbing milestones in British LGBT history. It's a kaleidoscope of emotion and superbly depicts the complexities and, let's face it, awkwardness of deciphering a relationship with someone of the same sex in this world.

 

 Official trailer
  
Indeed, theatre makes you think, but something the actors did during their applause at the end of the show put the play in a completely new and very real context for me. The actors held up placards that read, 'To Russia, with love," in protest against the anti-gay "propaganda" laws Putin's government has put in place. It made me realise that Oliver, Philip and Sylvia and their two simultaneous lives weren't only separated by time, but their stories could be separated by geography. Britain in 1958 was certainly a different place to today's Russia, but the fear, confusion, self-doubt, self-hate and thwarted sense of gay-self that was a way of life for British LGBT people in the 50s could now be a reality for many Russian LGBT people, today.

Isn't that totally shite?

As an example of the laws in practice, the annual Pride House International Coalition, that sets up shop at major international sporting events around the world to promote equality in sport, has been stopped from operating at the Sochi Winter Olympic and Paralympic games this year. The Russian Ministry of Justice refused to grant approval and Judge Svetlana Mordovina upheld the ruling, stating; "propaganda of non-traditional sexual orientation which can undermine the security of the Russian society and the state, provoke social-religious hatred, which is the feature of the extremist character of the activity." 

So, the movement called for support and nearly 30 remote Pride Houses have since sprang up around the world, to show their solidarity with the gay community of Russia. Manchester has its own, with a calendar of events planned up to and around the games, based out of Taurus on Canal Street, find out more here.

Told you theatre makes you think.

END.