London's thriving LGBT+ theatre scene means that you can see queer stories live on stage, any day of the week. Okay, there are just a few dedicated LGBT+ performance venues in the city, including gay theatre hubs Above the Stag, Royal Vauxhall Tavern and the King's Head.
But we've helped you out by tracking down some of the best LGBT+ shows at theatres across London. Expect everything from genre-smashing queer cabaret to lesbian romance to gay theatre classics to explorations of trans experience. Here's the low-down on the shows that are exploring LGBT+ lives, history and communities, beyond the stereotypes.
New and upcoming LGBT London shows
This homegrown musical about a teenage drag queen was a tidy hit for the Sheffield Crucible earlier this year. And now it's London's turn to enjoy it as it transfers down to the West End, complete with original star John McCrea. It's a peppy, lovable exploration of what it's like to be an outsider, with songs by Dan Gillespie Sells of pop band The Feeling.
This jukebox musical is stuffed full of songs by '90s hitmonger Max Martin, who wrote for queer icons from Britney to Backstreet Boys to Pink. And there are plenty of nods to its LGBTQ+ audience, too; it spruces up its source, Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet', by adding in non-binary and queer characters.
Join The Embers Collective for a magical evening of LGBTQ+ stories, mythology and folklore. Listen to queer songs and tales from around the world. This event is open to everyone if ticket prices are too high, get in touch and The Ember Collective will try to accommodate.
Tony Tang's solo musical unfolds on the Jubilee Line, where a gay homeless Chinese man is spending the night. He'll tell the story of what it's like to be live on the edge of two communities, in a ukekele-strumming hour of storytelling.
Jean Poiret's much-staged comedy is full of drag queens and farcical misunderstandings. It's been adapted into a musical and multiple movies, but this is a chance to see 'La Cage aux Folles' in far-from-straight play form. Simon Callow's new adaptation will star Michael Matus and Paul Hunter, and is directed by Park Theatre boss Jez Bond.
Set in a Norfolk seaside resort, James McDermott’s comedy is a look at the struggles of small town LGBT young people. 'Time and Tide' is McDermott's follow-up to 'Rubber Ring', another queer coming-of-age story.
Sylvan Oswald's ambitious-sounding queer love story uses Michel de Montaigne's fifteenth-century same-sex romance as a jumping off point to explore ideas of passion, activism and revolution. It's set in the days after the Second American Civil War, where two radicals try to work out if their love can survive its tumultuous fallout.
The second Ivo van Hove production in the 2020 Barbican season sees the Belgian great tackle Tennessee Williams’s dreamy early masterpiece ‘The Glass Menagerie’. And his French-language production (aka ‘La Ménagerie de verre’) with the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe boasts quite the star: the great Isabelle Huppert – herself no stranger to the Barbican – returns to play monstrously deluded matriarch Amanda, whose suffocating love has cursed her children: angry, gay Tom and painfully delicate Laura. Performed in English with French surtitles.
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