The Trinity Lodge, Monagh Grove
27th – 30th March: 8.00pm – 9.30pm (doors 7.45pm)
NB. 30th March show is now SOLD OUT.
An exciting new production from Kabosh that explores the events of the first National Union of Students Lesbian and Gay Conference, Queens University Belfast 1983.
One year after the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Northern Ireland, and two years after the 1981 hunger strike, the events of that weekend are a remarkable chapter in the city’s LGBT history.
Upon arriving at Queens University Students Union, conference delegates from across Ireland and the UK were greeted by a large-scale protest from the ‘Save Ulster From Sodomy’ campaign. This crusade was still in full force despite its recent defeat in trying to hold Northern Ireland behind the rest of the UK in legalising homosexuality.
As hostility echoed from outside the Students Union and tensions mounted within, with pressure from the NUS National Executive threatening to cancel the event and evict the delegates from their digs, the conference was in danger of receiving anything but a warm Irish welcome.
That was about to change… Delegates were offered an invitation from the community in West Belfast to join them at the Martin Forsythe Social Club in Turf Lodge, an invitation that was eagerly accepted. In the early evening of Saturday 22nd October 1983, a convoy of Belfast’s famous black taxis transported delegates to an event they could never have expected, and one they would never forget. That evening turned into one of the most remarkable and supportive LGBT events any of the young delegates had ever experienced, and the most unique céilí Belfast had seen.
Set against the soundscape of 1983 Belfast: the escalating Troubles; vocal and violent opposition to homosexuality; and a thriving punk scene, A Queer Céilí at the Marty Forsythe is an exploration of a unique chapter in Belfast’s history, and a celebration of commonality and camaraderie in the face of adversity.
Produced by Kabosh in partnership with OUTing The Past. Written by Dominic Montague and directed by Paula McFetridge. A première for the Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics.
Funded by Arts Council Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Community Relations Council NI, and The Halifax Foundation.
Age 18+. A special ticketing option is available that includes transport to the venue from outside Queen’s University Belfast main gates at 7.15pm. The performance on Saturday 30th March will be followed by a traditional céilí!