This Year’s Thing
- Yasmin Sulaiman
- 25 June 2009
It’s been 40 years since the death of Judy Garland and the (arguably unrelated) Stonewall Riots, a violent police raid on a New York bar that’s often seen as the beginning of the gay rights movement. To mark the anniversary, Edinburgh’s foremost LGBT theatre group, The Luvvies, has devised This Year’s Thing, a play that director and co-writer Martin Walker says is ‘holding a mirror up to Scotland’s LGBT community’.
A comedy set in a fictional gay bar, Walker emphasises the play’s honest assessment of LGBT people today. ‘There are prejudices within our community,’ he explains. ‘Some lesbians don’t get on with men, some gay men can be very misogynist, and there’s a lot of phobia against bisexual and transsexual people. So, while the audience are laughing at those things, I’d also like them to think that we should treat each other with a little more respect.’
Walker doesn’t just hope the play will challenge opinions; he also sees it as a tool to promote cohesion between lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgenders. He says: ‘Some people consider the phrase LGBT to be quite new. But the Stonewall Riot was an LGBT riot and this play is really about bringing the LGBT community – who were forced together through oppression – back together.’