Sussex project gives voice to the stories of older LGBTQ+ people

A digital performance written and directed by Dinos Aristidou and created from autobiographical LGBTQ+ stories will premiere on Saturday, November 28 at 6pm.

Friday, 13th November 2020, 10:00 am
Hear Us Out - Janet
Hear Us Out - Janet

Tickets are free but booking is essential via http://www.hearusout.live

The Hear Us Out digital performance is part of a wider programme of online events, celebrating the stories of older LGBTQ+ people, running from November 26-29.

Since 2019, the New Writing South team of LGBTQ+ volunteers have been collecting stories from their community across south-east England. Working with a company of performers, these autobiographical tales have been woven together to create a new, digital performance – a highlight of the Hear Us Out online programme of events taking place at the end of November, celebrating LGBTQ+ elders.

The programme’s artistic director, Dinos Aristidou, has used new writing and verbatim speech to create Hear Us Out, a joyful, poignant and heartfelt digital performance. Using the Hear Us Out technique, performers of all ages listen to the collected stories of older LGBTQ+ people through headphones and perform them live to camera, exactly as they hear them. There is no attempt to copy accents but the personalities of both performer and storyteller form a distinctive bond, organiser says. The pauses, sighs, laughter, stutters and stumbles of the original recordings are embraced and preserved.

This digital celebration of LGBTQ+ life has been created with Brighton filmmakers My Genderation and composer Angèle Veltmeijer. The performance features memories of teaching during the Section 28 years and drag alter-egos, same-sex weddings and obtaining Gender Recognition Certificates, the impact of AIDS and ongoing LGBTQ+ activism – and joy.

Rehearsing and recording the LGBTQ+ cast in their own homes has added a compelling intimacy to the Hear Us Out digital performance, Dinos said.

“Each performer transformed their personal space into a rehearsal room/zoom, stage, set and wardrobe – wonderful! We could not have planned for the closeness, the warmth, or the playfulness this glimpse into real LGBTQ+ life would add in our new digital world.”

Hear Us Out, the digital performance, premieres on Saturday, November 28 and will be available online shortly afterwards. Tickets for the premiere are free and can be booked online via www.hearusout.live

The screening will be part of a series of Hear Us Out Online Events taking place between November 26-29 including Space/Walk, a new documentary centring on black LGBTQ+ elders made by Marlborough Productions and commissioned by New Writing South specially for Hear Us Out, performances of new LGBTQ+ writing, a writing workshop led by poet Maria Jastrzębska, and an online gathering for older LGBTQ+ people and their allies.

Hear Us Out – Saturday, November 28, 6-7pm. Cast: Liz Armour, Gabrielle Raven Bourn, Jackie Engelberg, Katie Margaret Hall, Bob Hamilton, Janet Jones, Antony Mair, Barbara Martin, Carol Prior, Jen Purser, Persia West, Chris Williams, Sarah Windebank, Phaedon Zacharoudes.

Other Hear Us Out Programme Events:

Read Us Out, Thursday 26th November, 6-7pm - Digital performances of LGBTQ+ Creative Writing responding to older LGBTQ+ people’s stories.

Write It Out, Friday 27th November, 2-4pm - An online writing workshop led by Maria Jastrzębska for LGBTQ+ writers responding to older LGBTQ+ people’s stories.

Space/ Walk, Friday 27th November, 6-7pm – A short documentary by Marlborough Productions, commissioned by New Writing South especially for Hear Us Out, centring Black LGBTQ+ elders.

Hearing You Out, Sunday 29th November, 3-5pm - An online gathering for older LGBTQ+ people and their allies to discuss the themes of the project.