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Brighton’s Marlborough Theatre to stage year-long LGBT+ season

Marlborough Theatre, Brighton. Photo: Rosie Powell Marlborough Theatre, Brighton. Photo: Rosie Powell
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The Marlborough Theatre in Brighton has announced a year-long programme of LGBT+ performances and events, including a trans-positive pantomime and a takeover of the venue by transgender and non-binary artists.

Arts Council England has given £81,768 towards the initiative, called Growth Spurt, which will take place for 12 months from July. The Marlborough is a theatre and pub that has a programme including live art, theatre, spoken word and performance art.

The first strand of the programme, called Trans Pride, begins on July 19 with Trans Pride Art, a takeover of the building by trans artists headlined by performer Emma Frankland.

In partnership with New Writing South, Trans Pride and the Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence at the University of Sussex, the Marlborough will commission a writer in residence from July 6 to 22 during Trans Pride Week.

The second strand of the programme, Queer Heroes, celebrates queer icons and includes a performance of Nightclubbing by Rachael Young on November 6 as well as a new work by Lucy McCormick on November 9.

Hester Chillingworth, of performance company Getinthebackofthevan, has written a trans-positive pantomime which “seeks to redress the balance in the world of pantomime” and will feature a cast of all-trans or queer actors. This will form part of the programme’s fourth strand, We Are Family.

Growth Spurt will continue in February 2019 with the theme of Fat Pride, followed by a season devoted to Self Care in April 2019, featuring performance artist FK Alexander.

Specific events for 2019 are yet to be announced.

Creative producer Abby Butcher said: “It is hugely important for us to showcase performance that is representative of a range of LGBTQ+ identities with an intersectional programme of radical and innovative work.”

Hedley Swain, South East area director for Arts Council England, said: “Growth Spurt brings together a wonderful collection of festivals that give LGBTQ+ artists and communities a powerful voice around issues that affect them, such as queer heritage and self care.

“We’re really pleased to support this year-long programme of work by Marlborough Productions thanks to National Lottery funding.”

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