entertainment

New play 'Riot Act' re-lives the Stonewall Riots

Buy your tickets for the new Alexis Gregory play now

2018-07-30

London-based playwright Alexis Gregory is premiering his hotly-anticipated new show Riot Act this week for The King's Head Theatre's queer season.

Fellow writer and Black Pride host Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE is directing this short special run which opens on July 31.

Gregory's previous hit plays include Slap, that followed the drug-fuelled psychosis of a transgender hooker Dominique, Safe, a play about homeless LGBT youth, and Sex/Crime an intense thriller about a gay serial killer roleplay gone wrong.

All three were critically-acclaimed making Gregory a hot name on London's bustling LGBT theatre scene. Riot Act is his new show show and it ambitiously spans six decades.

It's a one-man show based on three fascinating and hilarious long interviews that Gregory conducted .. one with a man who experienced the night of the Stonewall Riots first-hand when he was on a gay night out aged just 17, another with a radical 1970s drag queen who toured Europe in the face of widespread homophobic abuse, and a third interview with a 1980s AIDS activist who used to organise publicity stunts - (the London side of the 120BPM story, for anyone who has seen the brilliant French film) Gregory has shaped and curated the material from his interviews to make a concise and action-packed theatre piece.

Just like how Gregory's last play Sex/Crime was unexpectedly comic in places (despite being about a dangerously warped gay serial killer) Riot Act too is eyebrow-raising in places and giggle-inducing in others.

The verbatim script is witty and surprisingly catty - describing what a night out at the Stonewall was actually like, showing how the gay community used humour to cope with AIDS, and dissecting London's not-always-smooth relationship with cross-dressers and drag queens.

Riot Act is also a kind of gay handbook .. packed with advice on how we as a community might need to galvanise once more to fight whatever's coming our way next ...

Riot Act runs for one week only at The King's Head Theatre. If you can't make it down to London then the script is also being published by Oberon Books.

Riot Act opens July 31 for one week at The King's Head Theatre on Upper Street. Tickets are £19. Buy your tickets from here.

You can follow Alexis Gregory on Twitter @lexigregory