As many of the UK’s gay bars and queer spaces close down (and some of the ones that are left have a pretty limited definition of who belongs in them) Brighton’s Marlborough Theatre is thriving. It’s a rainbow-decked pub downstairs, and a live art/cabaret space upstairs, which nurtures subversive, unsettling, and entirely unhomonormative work by artists including Rachael Young, Stacy Makishi, Marikiscrycrycry and Hester Chillingworth. ‘New Queers on the Road’ is a project that’s taking these artists on tour: so far, they’ve called in at Brighton, Bradford, Blackpool and Folkestone. The Marlborough commissions new work from locals at each stop, too – specifically, from queer people who’ve never made a show before.
This 42-minute documentary, made by Rosie Powell, is a way to be part of the tour. Powell says that “We wanted to make sure that whoever was watching the film felt a part of the journey. We wanted it to not only be beautiful and engaging but also to showcase the communities all across the country that are also making interesting, honest work. I hope that this film encourages people to really engage in the creative scene around them.” It’s also a work that reveals the relative privilege of being able to make queer work in the contexts of London and Brighton, and the need for queer visibility everywhere.
New tour dates for New Queers on the Road will be announced later this year.