Exciting new music theatre project - 1936: Fishing

by Homo Promos Theatre in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

£2,225

£2,600 target 22 days left
85% 24 supporters
This project will only be funded if at least £2,600 is pledged by 31st August 2022 at 5:00pm

World premiere of '1936: Fishing': full professional production of Episode 7 of 'A Gay Century', a calling card for the daring 17-part epic.

by Homo Promos Theatre in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

THE COMPANY

Homo Promos is the oldest LGBT Theatre Company in the UK. Founded in 1988 in the wake of Section 28 forbidding 'promotion of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship', HP has outlived that legal insult now by nearly twenty years. 

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THE PROJECT

After over 20 productions, we have hit on an epic cycle of 17 one-act operas called 'A Gay Century', charting the development of LGBT consciousness 1900 - 2001 in a mixture of stories about both the famous and the foot soldiers. We performed the texts of these during lockdown, as part of our 68-week programme of queer theatre on Zoom. [See below]  Now we can bring one of these pieces to its full glory.

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THE COMPOSER

The music is by Robert Ely [below], a senior bandmaster in the Parachute Regiment who was chucked out when he was found to be gay; the words by veteran playwright Peter Scott-Presland, currently celebrating 50 years as an openly gay creative artist. 

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The whole cycle lasts over 18 hours, but individually the pieces are mainly 45-60 mins and none uses more than 7 performers. So far 12 are complete and 5 have words awaiting their music. Episode 7 is '1936: Fishing', a 45-minute chamber opera set in Brighton. As the world awaits the Olympic Games in Berlin, a shy teenager is befriended on the Pier by an older man. The long shadow of Oscar Wilde falls over them both, resulting in an end which is both tragic and unforgettable.

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WHY OPERA?  THE RATIONALE

The opera cycle is a way of exploring and bringing to life our rich history, and the many issues we have had to resolve, trials we have had to face, and ultimately the victories we have been able to enjoy. These stories are terse, but simple and memorable in structure and execution. Homo Promos has always had a mission to take theatre into the wider gay movement by telling engrossing and accessible tales. It will bring home our past to a younger generation to whom our battles are as remote as the Battle of Hastings, but in an especially memorable way, conveyed through music. It will also bring a higher LGBT profile to an area of art - opera - which remains stubbornly hetero-normative. Although the 'opera queen' is a stereotype, it is a white well-heeled, middle-class, older-aged stereotype, and real Queers are far more various than that; we want to introduce opera, and the idea of telling stories through music, to those younger people from different backgrounds to whom the idea of opera is intimidating, even anathema.  This is the trailer for the whole cycle - music from '1918: Front' [Episode 4]

THE WAY FORWARD

We want to use this production, which will be livestreamed and recorded, as a calling card to leverage interest from other companies to take on other parts of the cycle. Certainly it is not something which we could undertake in its entirety on our own.

WHERE THE MONEY GOES

Opera is an expensive art form, even at its simplest, requiring singers and musicians of the highest professional calibre. We are committed to rewarding professionals at fair Union rates, although it is in the nature of the project, something of an experiment, and unlikely to generate huge amounts of box office; we couldn't charge £200 a seat like the Royal Opera House, nor would we want to. We think £10 a ticket is fair, though.

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We are especially committed to work by and for older LGBT people, and to working with people with disabilities.

"HOMO PROMOS performances during lockdown kept me sane.  I was parted from my partner, and they were a real lifeline" - Rainer Schultze

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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£100 or more

6 of 20 claimed

£100 Reward

Invitation to the post-performance party - free food and drink, and a chance to meet members of the cast and creative team. + 2 free tickets

£20 or more

0 of 30 claimed

£20 Reward

A copy of 'A Gay Century, Volume 1' - the texts of the first 10 plays in the cycle, including '1936: Fishing'

£30 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£30 Reward

DVD of the performance, signed by members of the cast and creatives

£50 or more

0 of 40 claimed

£50 Reward

Two free tickets to a performance of '1936: Fishing'

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