The author, Rose Collis will present a new illustrated talk, Player Kings and Queens: Equity Founders and Friends in LGBT History, at a special LGBT History Month event for the entertainment union Equity.
Equity was formed in 1930 and its founding members included many major lesbian, gay and bisexual stage stars of the day, including Ivor Novello, John Gielgud and the union’s first female President Beatrix Lehmann.
The Sussex-based writer and performer, elected to Equity’s national LGBT+ Equalities Committee in June 2017, is best-known for her plays and books featuring real-life LGBT personalities, including Trouser-Wearing Characters, Not Wanted on Voyage and Wanting The Moon.
Rose explains: “I went to a training day for Equity’s new committee members and noticed the framed original founding document, and recognised some of the signatories. With my historian’s hat on, it struck me that they were part of a much wider lesbian and gay theatrical network, many of whom are also commemorated in St Paul’s Covent Garden, the ‘actors’ church’, including Noel Coward.
“And, joining the dots even further, I noticed that they were all linked to one remarkable woman who presided over the ‘Tavistock Set’, just round the corner from Equity’s office and the church: the eccentric writer and artist Clemence Dane, subject of my solo play, Wanting The Moon. I realised that this would all make for a suitably entertaining LGBT History Month event, and I’m delighted that my Equity colleagues have wholeheartedly embraced the idea.”
Event: Player Kings and Queens, written and presented by Rose Collis
Where: Equity’s head office, Guild House, Upper St Martin’s Lane, London WC2H 9EG
When: Wednesday, February 28
Cost: Free and non-Equity members are welcome. Booking is recommended: tickets are available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/player-kings-and-queens-equity-founders-and-friends-in-lgbt-history-tickets-41875646185