By Shae Riches
LGBT Who, by Tee-Ball Ticket Theatre, is an interesting piece of theatre. One of the beauties of the Anywhere Festival is its opportunity to enable independent artists to use a non traditional space to hold a theatrical event. This was beautifully capitalized on by this piece, the venue being a Bright Learning establishment. The venue was, in one word: cozy. It felt very homely and not at all like theatre venues that you would usually encounter. Everywhere I looked I felt invited and welcomed whether it be with warm lighting or child like memories of scrap books and crayons. There was even a self-service tea and coffee station. This welcoming environment was carefully crafted as a prequel to the main event.
We were invited into the room and asked to take a seat wherever we liked from chairs, the floor or the classic rug of most child-hoods, that even if you didn’t have one your friend did; the rug with the alphabet, country’s flags and numbers, all split up in separate patches. I mention this because all of this setting was deliberate. From taking all this in we were then greeted by the actors themselves, unaware if the performance had really started or not. This, combined with the setting, gives the audience what they need: the warmth, comfort and safety to explore such a sensitive topic. LGBT Who is fundamentally about the sharing of stories from the ‘LGBT+’ community, the stories that have been typically marginalized and silenced and this environment, created by the set, venue and actors, is superbly well done.
Over the next seventy five minutes I bore witness to some of the hardships this community faces and the struggles they face within our society. The topic matter is heavy in information but broken up with audience interaction to make the piece both free flowing and engaging. But the most important part of this piece was not the sharing of struggles, but the breaking down of stigma. The stigma surrounding the LGBT+ community is unpleasant and undeniably, if not diminishing, still a part of our community. However, the actors in this show, through the stories of the LGBT+ community at large, their personalities and the homely space you are placed in, break down this stigma by showing you that they are, in fact, just ordinary people.
But even if you are already aware of this, this is still a beautiful piece of theatre to witness, for the honesty and truth that is shown to a usually silenced voice of our community. I heartily recommend a visit to see LGBT Who whilst you still can.