Winter Theatre Highlights

Tuesday 6 November 2012

There are some big productions heading Manchester’s way at the end of this year and into 2013. The Lion King kicks off in November, Priscilla will be here in February and it was recently announced that Wicked will be here in November ’13.

Imogen Stubbs as Lady TorranceHowever, it’s not just the musicals that are the big draws in Manchester’s theatres. The Royal Exchange is currently staging Orpheus Descending by Tennessee Williams. The Exchange is a beautiful venue and the ‘in the round’ position of the stage and seating allow you, somehow, to be much more immersed in what you are watching.

Acclaimed actress Imogen Stubbs returns to the Royal Exchange – appearing in Private Lives last year – to play the part of Lady Torrance in the revival of this classic Williams work directed by Royal Exchange Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom.

“Orpheus Descending” is set in a small town community of America’s Deep South in the 1940s; the play tells the story of charismatic young drifter Val Xavier who arrives in town with a guitar, a snakeskin jacket and a dodgy past. He picks up a job in the local store and forges a relationship with the owner – Lady Torrance - a middle aged woman trapped in a loveless marriage. Rich in imagery and bursting with vivid language and symbolism, the play builds to an apocalyptic climax as it explores the universal themes of loneliness, desire, sexuality, repression and the longing for freedom.

The play has opened and runs until 24th November & more information can be found at www.royalexchange.co.uk

WAIT! That’s not all that is going on!

Matthew Bourne’s time-travelling take on Sleeping Beauty stops at The Lowry for its North West première.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Bourne’s production company “New Adventures”, Artistic Director Matthew Bourne takes a traditional fairy tale across the ages, creating a supernatural Sleeping Beauty that even the passage of time itself cannot hinder. The tale of the girl cursed to sleep for a century was turned into a legendary ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographer, Marius Petipa, in 1890. Bourne takes this date as his starting point, leading us through the decades.

Matthew Bourne Sleeping Beauty

As Aurora grows into a young woman, the story moves forwards in time to the more rigid, uptight Edwardian era; a mythical golden age of long summer afternoons, croquet on the lawn and new dance crazes. Years later, awakening from her century long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day; a world more mysterious and wonderful than any fairy story. Bourne has also created new characters to fit into is re-telling of the well-known story.

I’m personally not one for the ballet, it’s never really appealed – however the story, coupled with a movement through time and the different dance crazes sounds quite exciting. I think I will have to check it out!

Sleeping Beauty runs from 13th - 17th November at The Lowry, Salford. More information can be found at www.thelowry.com

By Andrew Roberts

Image Credit for Imogen Stubbs in Orpheus Descending - Jonathan Keegan 

Tagged inCelebritiesCommunity

The Voice is Coming

Friday 23 March 2012

For almost the last decade, Saturday evening reality/talent show TV has pretty much been stitched up by ITV and Simon Cowell. There was Pop Idol, X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, all bigger, flashier and more high-panto-drama than the series before. The BBC tried to compete with them with Fame Academy, but it wasn’t very exciting and I’m keeping Strictly Come Dancing out of the equation as it’s brilliantly positioned for its audience. Anyway, back to Fame Academy the audience were a little reserved, probably middle aged and it was all very BBC “stiff upper lip”. However, this potentially is all about to change when BBC launch their version of the talent show The Voice.Voice Coaches

The Voice is similar to other talent shows, yet different. The similarities are; auditions in front of 4 judges, knock out stages, public voting and a winner crowned at the end of it all winning £100,000 and a contract with Universal and hopefully an illustrious career in the music industry. Now here are the differences; the judges aren’t judges – they are “coaches/mentors”, there are no categories, it is solo artists only and the auditions are blind because it’s not about a sob story and the person having the “right look” it’s all about the voice.

The blind audition is this show’s USP; the mentors will sit with their back to the auditionee, listening out for who they want in their final group. If they like what they hear, they press a big button and their chair will turn around. If no-one turns around, then that person is out. It sounds simple, but if more than one mentor turns around, it is then up to the person auditioning to choose who they want as their mentor. There has already been a long audition process in front of the BBC bods and competitors have been whittled down to prime selection to face the mentors, so don’t expect to see the usual auditionees who think they’re better than they actually are.

So who are the mentors that these people will be facing? They are; Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J, Will.I.Am and Danny O’ Donoghue (the lead singer of The Script). Now, I’m a bit a miffed with the choice of Danny and I don’t think I was the only one. Will Young was in the running and was rejected in favour of Danny at the last moment (Will did tweet his disappointment and at the same time had a slight dig at the BBC in the process).

Once the mentor has their final choices, they will prepare them for the battle round, where 2 members of the group will be pitted against each other –with the same song- in a sing off. Their mentor will advance one person from each battle. Once the mentors have their selections (rumoured to be five people per mentor) they move to the live shows. In the final phase, the remaining contestants will compete against each other in live broadcasts. The public will decide who moves on. When one team member remains for each coach, the contestants will compete against each other in the grande finale.

Sounds exciting doesn’t it….anyway, see for yourself.

The Voice hosted by Holly Willoughby & Reggie Yates starts 24th March at 7pm on BBC1.

Written by Andrew Roberts

Tagged inFilm & Television

A Catch Up With Cornerhouse

Monday 1 August 2011

Written by Bren O’Callaghan

Hola Pride followers, I’ve been asked to write a guest post for you from the cultural castle that is Cornerhouse – Manchester’s international centre for contemporary visual art and independent film.

Many of you will, like me, have spied your first bare breasts, waxed chests, front bottoms and nudie rear posteriors on film as part of our eclectic world-cinema screenings. I blame the French particularly for corrupting this lapsed Catholic altar boy.

Years after sneaking into Cinema 1 to watch foreigners shout, snog and drive around on mopeds (without seatbelts!), I find myself employed here as Visual Arts Programme Manager and inhaling the Bisto kids burger-whiff from the meat ‘n milkshakes emporium next door. I now offer you my guidance on what to look out for during the run-up to Pride weekend to whet your appetite accordingly.

Although the BFI London Gay & Lesbian Film Festival have had to abandon their popular UK tour of selected features due to well publicised budget cuts, Peccadillo Pictures – specialists in LGBT movies from all over the globe – have stepped in to provide a strong alternative selection. We’ve a choice of four titles including one scandalous classic, encompassing historical bodice rippers (well, slowly unpicking, those laces can be devilish to undo once knotted) to edgy British drama. It almost goes without saying that the French have upped the sauce quotient with my personal favourite, Man At Bath: stylised, cinema verite starring gay male porn star Francois Sagat (star of Bruce La Bruce’s LA Zombie).

We also sell volcanic cupcakes rolled in glitter. I ask you, what more do you want?

Sea Purple

Based on a true story, Sea Purple (so named after a resourceful fish that changes sex to mate) treads a similar path to Sarah Water’s Tipping The Velvet, combining period drama with forbidden female desire. Angela, the daughter of a tyrannical quarry boss in 19th Century Sicily, pines for her best friend Anna – forced to leave for the mainland with her family, the women at the mercy of their masters. Years later the two are reunited, only for their naïve attachment to have grown into not simply longing but love. Set against an impassioned and melodramatic backdrop, this is a story of true nature over nurture, aligning itself with the mutilated cliffs that the islanders carve for personal profit and short term gain; a stoic, barren yet beautiful landscape exempt from the petty moral coda of men.

  • Wed 17 Aug 20.30, Cert. 15

Taxi Zum Klo

Decried as an X-rated abomination upon original release in 1980, this fictionalised tale of writer, director and lead actor Frank Ripploh was based almost exclusively upon his own exploits, going so far as to pair him with a former lover, Bernd Broaderup, documenting their break-up borne of Ripploh’s sexual compulsion. The literal translation, ‘Taxi to the Toilet’, relates to a scene in which Frank leaves a meter running and driver waiting while he dashes across pre-AIDS Berlin, scouring hook-up spots for further conquests. Explicit it most certainly is, not simply in terms of actual sex on film (far from idealised as pale, pimpled bottoms rise and fall from focus), but in the depiction of one man’s everyday attempt at wringing comfort from his unambiguously ordinary existence.

  • Wed 17 Aug 13.30, Cert 18 / Contains very strong sex and sex references
  • Sun 14 Aug, 12.00 + post screening discussion with Andrew Moor, Reader in Cinema History in the English Dept at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Man At Bath

Despite the golden carrot of French gay male porn star Francois Saguette dangling from the screen, this is so much more than a film about buns tight enough to crack a walnut with one clench: instead, Saguette’s role as Emmanuel is a striking yet boorish figure, his stunning physique more handicap than bonus as he lurches from one encounter to the next, an empty-headed sex addict lacking basic self-awareness. When his boyfriend Omar demands he leaves their apartment before he returns from a trip to New York, the narrative splits to depict their opposing experience in the days that follow - using an inventive eye-view verite technique for Omar, paired with a languid, bed-bound voyeurism to capture Emmanuel’s ennui. A fresh, experimental swansong to a relationship that has reached its best-by date.

  • Thu 11 Aug 20.40, Cert. 18 / Contains sex

Break My Fall

If music be the food of love, then the downbeat, indie-punk soundtrack populated by new British bands that underscores this slick debut by director Kamchi Wichmann waves a burning red flag from the outset. Coming across as an Anglo-interpretation of Gregg Araki’s nihilistic teen nightmares (part Skins, part Grange Hill), Lesbian couple Liza and Sally drift from bed to band practice, barely managing to scrape a living, dining at greasy spoons and puking into piled-high kitchen sinks as their hedonism spirals out of control. Flashes of violence, a lack of purpose and psychological self-harm point toward a dim resolution, but Wichmann’s adept delivery and lo-fi style ensures that it never quite degenerates into senseless whinging. Kat Redstone as Liza is particularly impressive as the androgynous cornerstone to this upstart ensemble piece.

  • Tue 09 Aug 18.20, Cert. 18 + post screening discussion with Director Kamchi Wichmann

Tagged inCommunityFilm & TelevisionPride Fringe

Twenty Twenty looking for Trans-persons to film and talk about their experiences

Thursday 16 June 2011

twentytwentyTwenty Twenty Television is looking for trans-people to get involved with an upcoming documentary series on gender transition. This is a great opportunity for those from the trans community to speak out about their experiences as a trans person and to educate many individuals who do not understand what 'trans' means. If you are a trans person interested in this, or know a trans male or female who may well be, then please read the blurb below from Twenty Twenty Television's Rosie O'Connor:

 

"Twenty Twenty Television is making a new documentary series about gender transition. We want to make this series a modern piece of television that explores the many and varied realities of being trans in Britain today -- from the day-to-day challenges of facing prejudice to the joys of realising an individual identity.

The basic idea is that we intend to follow several trans-individuals this summer as they embark upon various stages of their transition, be that emotional, social, physical or medical. We want each of our characters to experience transition in a new way; by having the support of other trans-people. It's clear that many trans-people in the UK feel isolated by society's reaction to their identities and use the internet to reach out to others for advice, support and a community.

In our efforts to get the tone of our series right, we've been consulting leading charities and organisations over the last few months, including F to M London, Trans Media Watch and GIRES. They continue to offer guidance to our programme.

At this stage, just opportunity to talk would be much appreciated, as every conversation we have broadens our research.

You can reach me on 020 7424 7763 or my email is rosieo'connor@twentytwenty.tv. All calls are confidential.

For more info please visit our website at www.twentytwenty.tv

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Rosie xxx"

Tagged inFilm & Television

Have you ever had a door closed to you because you didn't fit the norm? ('Slamming')

Wednesday 15 June 2011

By Matt Horwood

Slamming

***UPDATE*** FILMING FOR 'SLAMMING' EXTENDED FOR THURSDAY 16TH, FRIDAY 17TH, SATURDAY 18TH JUNE & SUNDAY 19TH JUNE

'Dyke', 'Queer', 'Butch', 'Fag' and 'Bent' are all nouns that the LGBT community are all too familiar with. Living as an LGBT person can often have its perks (we tend to dress well - usually - and we definitely throw the best parties), but the reality is that we are still grossly mistreated by many uneducated, homophobic and ignorant members of society. However we are not alone.

Prejudice is something that is experienced by many, some more than others, and often in a range of forms and mistreatments. Racism, sexism and homophobia are just some of the most recognized forms of prejudice in our country today -- but that is only beginning to scratch the surface.

Despite this, the majority of the UK are not so narrow-minded, and live amongst us as equals (as it should be). In fact, many of these people - new wave Freedom Fighters perhaps - battle in numerous forms to help support us and make things better. We see this when friends stand up for one another, when individuals volunteer for charity groups and when celebrities across the world begun to don the 'NOH8' t-shirts opposing Proposition 8. One form of supporting the underdog is via art, which is exactly what Manchester-based filmmakers Hannah Searle and Bethany Leese have achieved in her their film 'Slamming'.

The film's tagline 'Have you ever had a door closed to you because you didn't fit the norm?' reflects its subject matter: a work which aims to encapsulate how - even today - people from a variety of societal groups still have doors closed on them for different reasons. Leese and Searle's installation film will feature thirty individuals from different walks of life, walking towards a door and having it shut on them before they can pass through it.

BE A PART OF IT

The final filming sessions for 'Slamming' are taking place until Sunday 19th June near Manchester's Gay Village on Princess Street, and filming takes no longer than half an hour per person. For more information on how to get involved e-mail salfordslamming@gmai.com or visit the website and Facebook pages of the project:

Hannah Searle, one of the producers said: "It was always important for us to make the film about sub-groups as well as the most common prejudices found within the media. 'Slamming' features many groups who not only have doors often slammed on them, but have done so in silence. The film hopes to portray a simple reality to send a message to those who see it. Bethany and I are really pleased with how it has come along so far". 'Slamming' will be screened in June at The Egg in Media City - good luck to all of those involved here from Manchester Pride!

Tagged inFilm & Television

Cheryl Who?

Tuesday 31 May 2011

ParadeWRITTEN BY ANDREW ROBERTS

The X Factor circus is well and truly up and running on both sides of the Atlantic, with the last few days being pretty “big” in terms of events.

It all started with the Cheryl Cole is she/isn’t she judging fiasco. To be honest, I think a lot of people were pretty bored of it by the time X Factor USA announced that she was going to be the fourth judge alongside Paula “a little bit crazy” Abdul, LA Reid and Simon Cowell. Cheryl was unveiled to the public in a cloud of Elnette and colour blocking; she’d been well and truly “Americanised” and basically turned her back on us dowdy Brits. Fast forward a week and a bit, the Cole drama resurfaced, she was dumped for reasons that have not really been made clear and into the breach stepped Nicole Scherzinger who was originally a co-host with Steve Jones. To me this was all a bit too convenient. I loved Nicole on the UK version, so why she wasn’t taken on immediately for the US one was a bit odd. I think they (the execs) realised that this should have been the line up from the start but had to let Simon have his way.

Speaking of Simon Cowell, it was during his over the top grand entrance on Britain’s Got Talent - which I think has worked perfectly well without him & he looked like he didn’t really care about what was going on during the 1st live show….I’ve digressed – that the ITV Press Centre conveniently dropped into Twitter’s timeline the line-up for X Factor UK.

  • Louis Walsh – From early on we knew he was going to continue as a judge. I find most of the time he just goes on with himself and makes random comments, but he’s quite entertaining.
  • Gary Barlow – This position was confirmed last month and he is touted to be the “head judge”. I think he’ll also give criticism quite fairly. He also seems like a really nice bloke and has certainly got the talent to back up his position as a judge. I’m happy with his appointment; he’s always been my favourite in Take That too.
  • Kelly Rowland – She’ll have an intro as long as my arm, multi-platinum selling, global mega star, former child of Destiny, now on every house song that needs a bit of a vocal oomph, the list could go on. There’s no denying it, she’s famous, she’s gets a lot of radio airplay and she’s got a cracking voice. How she’ll do in a judging role is yet to be seen, personally I think she’ll be pretty good.
  • Tulisa “N-Dubz” Contostavlos – At this point I’m lost for words, really I am. I think she’ll be gobby, unpredictable and either TV gold or a car crash. Musically I can’t say I’ve listened to an N-Dubz song by choice and their TV programme has never been shown in my household. Granted I have seen an episode, but that was when I was at a friend’s and it’s rude to turn over in someone else’s house.

The girls could bring a new type of auditionee to the show, more R’n’B, more singers suited to dance music and perhaps more N-Dubz/”street” groups or singers/rappers.

For now I’m reserving judgement but I know that once it’s on TV, I’ll be glued. I’ll also make an early prediction on which judge gets what. Gary – groups or overs, Tulisa – girls, Kelly – boys and Louis will no doubt be lumped with the category no one wants.

Tagged inCelebritiesFilm & Television

‘One of a Kind’

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Christopher and his Kind

Last Saturday night saw the television debut of Christopher and His Kind on BBC2, a one off drama following the character of renowned playwright Christopher Isherwood around a chaotic and controversial 1930s Berlin.

Isherwood, played by Dr. Who star Matt Smith, explores the hedonistic and seedy streets of Berlin’s gay culture. Often accompanied by his friend and lover – the acclaimed WH Auden (played by Pip Carter) – the programme illustrates the sexual exploration that was a huge part of the Weimar Berlin scene at the time, shortly before the Second World War. Opening the show with the line “the truth is, I was going to Berlin for the boys”, Isherwood’s character is a nostalgic old gentleman, with a fantastic combination of cheeky wit and an attractive ‘tiff’-like charm.

Christopher and His Kind aptly explores the sexy sites of Berlin laced with a refreshing perspective of both Nazi Germany and its class divide; Smith, who was attracted and excited by the part, plays the aristocrat convincingly and with pizzazz. Despite this, it would have been nice to see some genuine German actors in drama, if not for a more convincing aesthetic then to pay homage to this pinnacle time and place in European history.

Filmed in Ireland, though done out as a convincing Germany, the costumes, stand out as just one part of the mise-en-scène that made this format work so fantastically. Between Elyot and Smith, Pride believes Christopher and His Kind will have been a BBC hit, for both an LGBT and non-LGBT audience.

For more information on the drama and to catch it on iPlayer before it is taken off, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ztfl9

Tagged inFilm & Television

25th London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Tuesday 22 March 2011

London lesbian and gay film festivalThe British Film Institute’s 25th annual London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, in partnership with Attitude magazine, have recently announced their diverse and impressive 2011 lineup.

Gregg Araki’s Kaboom (2010), which the LLGFF describes as a “trippy world of adolescent annihilation”, will open the festival on the 31st March. Closing the event on April 7th is Jacob Chase’s Four Faced Liar, described as a “story of four twenty somethings trying to find themselves in New York”, the final of thirty five shorts, experimental and documentary films, alongside archive material that will also be shown. Other highlights include Quentin Lee’s The People I’ve Slept With (shown on the 3rd and 6th of April), Angélique Bosio’s The Advocate of Fagdom (shown on the 1st, 2nd and 4th of April) and experimental film Horror of Darkness, directed by Anthony Page (shown on the 3rd of April).

What can be noted from the dates is that, unfortunately, the usual fortnight festival has been shortened to just one week of showings. With an estimated 15% cut (£4m over four years) hitting the BFI, the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival are set to lose £125, 000 from their accounts, which works out at around half their budget. For this reason, the opening and closing parties for the LGGFF have also moved from the glamorous nightlife of Leicester Square to a more low-key reception to be held on the South Bank.

This is an enormous shame for the festival, who attract around 250, 000 visitors per year and is not just the UK’s third biggest film festival, but also Europe’s third biggest queer film event.

Despite the loss of funding for the LGGFF, officials are fully backing the festival to remain a focal point of the UK film calendar, and protesting against its potential future of disappearing from us. Director of the BFI Amanda Nevill, said the LLGFF is “an integral part of the BFI’s programme” and a part of “what [we] really cherish”, whilst Senior Programmer Jonathan Keane has stated that “film is the major art form through which we imagine how we can live in the world”, and so cutting the LLGFF would be a shame for both the LGBT community and those who wish to learn more about it.

A petition is available to sign to try and secure the festival’s longevity, backed by figureheads such as Keane and the festival’s former Programmer Topher Campbell who believe the seven day event could be in danger.

The London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival takes place at the British Film Institute at London South Bank between March 31st and April 6th, with individual tickets starting at £9.50 (with available concessions).

For more details on the event, and films being shown over the week, see here: http://www.bfi.org.uk/llgff/films/

To sign the online petition to help save the festival, click here: http://www.gopetition.com/petition/43511.html

Tagged inFilm & Television

CATCHING UP WITH COTTON

Friday 18 March 2011

antony cotton

Pride patron and Corrie star Antony Cotton talks to us this week about his openly gay character Sean Tully and the importance of gay characters on television, his part in last year's 'Welcome to My World' exhibition and Corrie's 50th anniversary float at Pride 2010.

You’re probably best known for playing Sean Tully in Coronation Street as an openly gay character. How important do you feel it is to have gay characters on primetime television?

Very important because gay people are everywhere you look in real life. We are teachers, bus drivers, factory workers, scientists, politicians, pilots, pop stars, actors and men and women serving in the military. Some of us are even footballers. But that’s another story…

How did it feel to be part of Corrie’s 50th parade float in last year’s Pride Parade?

Amazing. The rain couldn’t dampen the city’s spirit and sure enough as we set off we were sent some sunshine and a rainbow to show us the way.

You’ve been a patron of Manchester Pride for a number of years now, what do you love about the festival?

I love everything about it because I love everything about Manchester. It’s a celebration for everybody that is proud of who they are, from whatever place they come from, they know that they can come to Manchester and be made to feel at home. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – no two words are better suited then Manchester and Pride.

You posed in our recent exhibition ‘Welcome to my World’. Can you tell us about the experience?

Well Rachel Joseph is a pal of mine so it was great. It was fun and most importantly – quick! She’s got very fast fingers has that Rachel!

How important do you feel it is to support the local LGBT community in Manchester?

I do what I can. I’m not a saint, but I do try and help out if somebody asks. Because of the stuff I’ve done, not just Sean and Coronation Street but things like Queer As Folk and Absolutely Fabulous, I’ve had the opportunity to give some time to organisations like the Albert Kennedy Trust and the LGF and THT. I’m incredibly honoured that they asked me and it really is an honour. I’ve met some amazing people and I feel proud to call them friends. I am also incredibly proud of my community and I will fight for the rest of my life to see equality for all. The 21st century has brought more understanding and a greater acceptance for LGBT people but sadly some still live their lives in fear because of who they love. And this means the fight isn’t over. And that’s why it is over to the LGBT community and their friends and families. Together we can all speak up and say Enough Is Enough! and help rid the world of homophobia.

And finally, are you excited about Manchester Pride’s 21st birthday celebration this summer?

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store! Watch this space!

Tagged inCelebritiesFilm & Television

FRIDAY INTERVIEW – HARRY BRADSHAW

Friday 18 February 2011

 Harry Bradshaw

Harry Bradshaw may be a fresh face to many, perhaps you may recognise him from his latest role as a transgender character in a popular British teen soap. Despite being fairly new to the scene, Harry has begun to establish himself as a great award-winning UK talent, showcased both on the big and smaller screen. This week we were pleased to catch a few words with the young star...

You recently featured in Hollyoaks (Channel 4 soap), playing a transgender character named Tamara who was in a ‘gender disorder clinic’. How did you prepare for such a role?

As an actor, preparation is a key. No matter how big or small the part, the more you know about your character, the greater control you have in a performance. Therefore to be given a character like Tamara, in a platform like Hollyoaks, I knew it was fundamental for me to understand the world of the transgender community, and give a truthful portrayal. The way I work is more intellectual based with preparation. I tend not to meet people that are similar to characters I play otherwise I end up always thinking, “ how did so and so sit?” or “how did this person react?”. My main research for my character was based around forums and blogs by people writing about their transgender experiences. I came across so much, from people who are hiding their true gender, to people that are open and living the life as their true self. This is where the true stories are expressed, and you get to understand their real emotions. It was like reading peoples personal diaries and a real way of understand people’s way of life.

Tamara (and Jason, whom your character met in the Hollyoaks storyline) is the first transgender character we have seen on our TV screens in a long time. Why do you think this is?

To be truthful, I don’t think it is completely accepted in our community, which is really unfortunate. If the “issue” was accessible more on our televisions and the media, then we would see more transgender characters around. It’s great the soaps like Hollyoaks have main recurring gay and lesbian characters, as it shows the portrayal of real life. The next step for the industry is to portray these characters out of their stereotype, which I think Hollyoaks is brilliant at doing. For instance, you don’t have to be camp to be gay, you don’t have to be butch to be lesbian, and for my character Tamara, you don’t have to put on a facade to be male to female transgender. LGBT societies come in all shapes and forms, and I think the industry is getting there, and it’s exciting to be a part of it.

You have had esteemed roles Jonathan Harvey’s ‘Beautiful Thing’, in Prince Gomolvilas’ UK drama ‘Mysterious Skin’, and in the short named Hope, where you achieved an Accolade Film Festival award (2009). All of these, you played roles that were sexually charged and contain important messages for the LGBT community. Which of these do you think are most important?

I think they are all important in their own right. Each role and each piece has a different message. Of course ‘Beautiful Thing’ was huge in the 90’s when it first previewed. It captures the innocence of youth and exploration. I remember watching it with my friends when I was in my teens thinking, Jamie is me. This is practically my life, in a film. It’s a piece that makes young teens feel they are not alone. The play is so well written, I feel that it brings out some kind of emotion whether you’re gay or straight. ‘Mysterious Skin’ and ‘Hope’ are less about exploration of sexuality, but more about how the exploration of sex helps to bring a conclusion, so are less likely to be important to LGBT communities.

Despite being from down South, in Essex, have you seen much of Manchester and our Pride events?

I’ve been to Manchester a few times in the past, but haven’t been in a good few years. I don’t know whether born and bred Manchester folk agree with me, but it feels like an extension of London. It is lively, the place never seems to stop and it’s full of culture. I also understand your Pride events are as lively as London too. I’m hoping to head up to this year’s Manchester Pride. It’ll be my first time so you’ll have to all show me around.

It’s fantastic to talk to someone who is representing British acting in both television and film, and coincides well with our ‘Best of British’ theme for Pride 2011’s Big Parade. For you, what makes us such a culturally relevant country?

Capturing the British element is something to be proud of too. I’m not entirely sure what makes us culturally relevant, but I have to say I have a soft spot for the monarchy. What is there not to like? It is what fundamentally defines Britain. Having recently been in America, people would always be commenting on the Queen. I think we should take more pride in it.

Finally, what has 2011 got in-store for Harry Bradshaw?

All sorts of things. Work wise, there are a few projects possibly lined up, but nothing announced as yet. All updates are posted on my website when confirmed. In other areas of my life, I am teaching acting more, and hopefully passing on my wisdom to aspiring actors. And sticking to my new year’s resolution, I am being more proactive with my political side. Along with acting, politics is a big thing for me, and I am pursuing this as much as I can. You never know, you may see me at Manchester Pride on a certain LGBT stand.

http://www.harrybradshaw.co.uk/

Tagged inFilm & TelevisionFriday Interview

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