Last month Above The Stag’s Artistic Director Andrew Beckett introduced the new studio space which now has fixed seating and means the Above The Stag is truly a two venue theatre. Here’s an extract from the speech Andrew gave outlining his theatrical vision for 2020.
“I am so honoured and privileged to take on the title of Artistic Director at Above The Stag Theatre. Having been involved in the UK’s only full-time professional producing LGBTQIA+ theatre for a few years (directing the award winning ‘Grindr: The Opera!’ and the last eight pantomimes for the theatre); I have the ATS values and message in my heart and soul.
However, I have a passion to expand our family and become more inclusive and diverse in the stories we tell and explore. I want our theatre to become a hub for our community and I’m so excited to do this with our amazing team and family. Alongside Tom McGregor (Commercial Director) and Andy Hill (Technical Director) we hope to take the theatre into its next chapter.
Without taking away what makes us unique and what our audiences know and love, it’s about time we started exploring the other letters of the LGBTQIA+ community, and venturing into the range of issues that affect us most. This won’t happen overnight, but it is my commitment to the next few years; most importantly making sure that everyone has a voice and a safe place to exist.
All of this has culminated in the launch of our beautiful new space. No longer will it be the second theatre, but instead the more intimate place to tell stories, allowing us explore other topics and themes within the community for everyone to engage in.
At the moment we have the beautiful ‘Four Play’ by Jake Brunger. Directed by the exciting Matthew Iliffe and designed by award winning Carrie-Anne Stein. The other theatre is now showing a happy gay comedy called ‘The Morning After’ by Peter Quilter. As we begin to explore the next step for the Above The Stag Theatre we ask for your love, support and generosity. After all, this theatre should be for everyone.”
Next month Above The Stag presents Buyer and Cellar by Jonathan Tolins. An out of work actor is hired for a mysterious job at an undisclosed location – and finds himself working in Barbra Streisand’s legendary street of shops beneath her Malibu home, full of her memorabilia. Soon he strikes up a rapport with Barbra herself. Is it real friendship, or something else? A big hit in New York, London and Australia, Jonathan Tolins’ Buyer and Cellar is a hilarious, bitchy and exuberant fantasy about fame.