Thursday, 28 June 2018

James Ley @ Edfringe 2018

James Ley and The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh are delighted to present
Love Song to Lavender Menace

Love Song Crop - Aly Wight.jpg
By James Ley
Directed by Ros Philips
Part of Made in Scotland at Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Tech Cube Zero, Summerhall
3 – 26 August 2018
Love Song to Lavender Menace returns to Edinburgh following a sold out run at The Lyceum last October, as part of Made in Scotland’s esteemed showcase this Fringe. A true romantic comedy that celebrates LGBT+ history, culture, literature and love, the acclaimed play is an offering to Lavender Menace - Edinburgh’s first ever ‘Gay, Lesbian and Feminist’ bookshop, which began life in the cloakroom of the city’s first gay club (now a Waterstones!). 

Would you identify your show as 'gay' or 'queer'? What makes you define the show with this label?

For me labelling the show as ‘queer' would suggest something in terms of theatrical form that the show wouldn’t deliver on. I think if you were to give it a genre you would call it a 'gay romantic comedy' and formally it has links to naturalism. 

So I think, in this very binary question I would say it’s gay! And it’s glad to be gay! I’m not a massive fan of labels as I think they can support stereotypes, and stereotypes are toxic. 

What differences do you see between the labels 'gay' and 'queer’?

I am very proud to be gay. I left school a year early because of homophobic bullying when I came out as gay. I didn’t come out of queer so from a linguistic point of view I have stronger neural pathway connections with the word gay. I earned that. But that’s very personal to me. Language can be funny like that. 

But I love queer culture and I love queer art and work and people. But I do feel I look in on that longingly, rather than being part of it. But that’s ok. We can’t be all things to all people. And I love being me and the artist that I am. So I mainly identify as gay, queer, weird, bipolar and extremely polyamorous - but if you want a label that sums me up the best I think it’s - Daddy. 

Why do you think I am asking this question, particularly of your show?

I’m guessing you think the show is not queer, and you think labelling is very important.

The play, written by Village Pub Theatre’s James Ley, was originally commissioned by LGBT Youth Scotland as a Cultural Commission for LGBT History Month 2016, and was created with the support and insight of Bob Orr and Sigrid Neilson - the founders of the revolutionary bookshop, both of whom still live in Edinburgh today.

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