Olivier award-winners Matthew Lopez and Jonathan Bailey have argued there are still not enough LGBT+ stories told in mainstream theatre.
Bailey told The Stage he believes this is because there is a belief that LGBT+ productions are a commercial risk.
Speaking after collecting the Oliver award for best supporting actor in a musical for Company, Bailey said: “I think there’s a fear that [LGBT+ stories] don’t equal commercial success.”
He added: “The reason why people get excited, surely, about seeing Rosalie Craig play [the gender-swapped lead role of] Bobbie [in Company] and seeing The Inheritance and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is because suddenly we’re challenging what it is to be commercial.”
Lopez, whose play The Inheritance won the Olivier award for best play, said he felt a personal responsibility to support emerging creators of LGBT+ stories following his Olivier success.
He said: “There’s not enough [LGBT+ stories being told], and there’s no such thing as too much.
“When the share of representation reaches the level that we are counted among in society, then maybe we’ll be getting close to it.”
Lopez added: “If anything comes out of this, it maybe that I have an opportunity to help, I think it would be the height of hypocrisy to take this award home and then go, alright I have no more responsibility – I’ve done my part, now you do yours.
“We all need to support each other and lift each other up.”