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June 26th, 2017 | by Jennifer Edwards

Casting announced for The Drag at the National Theatre

Queer Theatre: LGBT + Stories & Social Change: In partnership with Pride in London

The National Theatre will mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales by staging its first Queer Theatre event series from 6 – 10 July 2017. 

A group of world class actors and directors will look at how theatre has charted the LGBT+ experience through a series of rehearsed readings and post-show discussions in the Lyttelton Theatre. 

The final production in the series of rehearsed readings is The Drag by Mae West (1927), Monday 10th July 7.30pm.

Directed by Polly Stenham, The Drag – the play that scandalised 1920s New York - follows respected, married socialite Rolly. Son of a homophobic judge and married to the daughter of an eminent gay conversion therapist, Rolly is keen to keep his homosexual tendencies under wraps. However, when he decides to host a drag ball in his drawing room, events soon spiral out of control. One of the first plays to shed light on gay counter-culture, Mae West’s rarely performed comedy was banned after ten performances.

Cast announced today includes*:

Fisayo Akinade, Arun Blair-Mangat, Niamh Cusack, Richard Dempsey, Sacha Dhawan, Tom Edden, Adetomiwa Edun, Jodie McNee, Cyril Nri, Sule Rimi and Adrian Scarborough

The NT’s Queer Theatre event series is hosted in partnership with Pride in London and includes: 

·         Neaptide by Sarah Daniels, directed by Sarah Frankcom, Thursday 6 July, 7.30pm

·         Wig Out! written and directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Friday 7 July, 7.30pm

·         Certain Young Men written and directed by Peter Gill, Sat 8 July, 7.30pm

·         Bent by Martin Sherman, directed by Stephen Daldry, Sunday 9 July, 2.30pm

·         The Drag by Mae West, directed by Polly Stenham, Monday 10 July, 7.30pm.

*Further casting to be announced shortly.

Free post-show talks (40 mins) will follow each reading exploring the issues in the plays and in a wider context for the LGBT+ community.