‘Rights of Passage’: A presentational talk by Clare Summerskill

Besi Besemar January 9, 2017

Renowned lesbian celebrity and playwright Clare Summerskill talks about her work with the play Rights of Passage.

Rights of Passage is a play by Clare Summerskill, created from interviews with LGBT+ asylum seekers in the UK. This production toured to theatres nationally earlier this year over a six-week period, and was met with critical acclaim and a huge amount of interest in the subject matter that it addressed.

Clare was in the production herself, acting alongside fellow cast members of her theatre company, Artemis. The play focused on the stories of three contributors, a gay man from Iran, a lesbian from Uganda, and a gay man from Malaysia, and tells their moving and courageous stories.

In this presentational talk Clare discusses issues which the play addresses, including the situation of LGBT+ rights internationally, legal criteria which allow LGBT+ people who are persecuted in their home country to seek asylum in other nations, and Home Office interview questioning methods which ask people to ‘prove’ that they are gay. She reads extracts from the play highlighting some of these matters, and she also presents a selection of character monologues. The presentational talk concludes with an original song which Clare sings with guitar, pertinent to the content of the play.

Clare Summerskill is a playwright, an actress, a singer-songwriter and a lesbian comedienne. She regularly performs her own one-woman comedy shows and tours them to theatres in England and the US. She has also written and produced several plays and films for her theatre company, Artemis.

Her published works include We’re the Girls! (2008), Hearing Voices, a play based on service users’ experiences of the mental health system, Gateway to Heaven:50 years of Lesbian and Gay Oral History (2012), and Rights of Passage (2016). She is currently researching a PhD at Royal Holloway University of London on verbatim theatre.


For more information about Clare Summerskill, click here:

Event: Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies and Sussex Centre for Migration Research presents RIGHTS OF PASSAGE – A presentational talk by Clare Summerskill

Where: Silverstone Building lecture theatre room 121, in the basement. University of Sussex

When: Wednesday, February 15

Time: 1-2pm