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London older people’s festival to showcase 1950s gay drama

The London arts festival for the over 60s returns with a play concerning the troubles of being gay in 1950s Britain
Capital Age Festival is London's only arts festival exclusively aimed at the over 60s

The Capital Age Festival returns for its tenth year with a performance of gay drama The Real Me.

The play follows the life of Oxford University student Albert, who looks back on his life in 1950s Britain when homosexuality was a criminal offence. The climax of the play involves Albert’s first crush, Jimmy, walking back into his life after 60 years.

Many of the actors who developed the play with writer Clair Chapwell, were gay men and lesbian women. Their aim was to show how past Britain affects the present.

‘This play was developed with a group of senior actors, several of whom had kept their sexuality painfully buried during their acting years,’ said Chapwell.

‘They said what a relief it was to finally be able to explore characters with whom their own experience resonated.'

She added: ‘Even more positive was to perform in front of a younger audience, some of whom had no idea how shockingly difficult it was to be gay before it was legal.'

Festival director Paul Margrave said: ‘Capital Age Festival is all about getting older people involved in creative activities across London and we are delighted to be able to showcase this challenging and radical piece of theatre made by older LGBT people.’

Alongside The Real Me, more than 250 artists will take part in over 50 events across the festival’s two-week period. Over 10,000 attendees are expected.

The Real Me will be shown at Artsdepot, north London on 4 July. Tickets are priced £7 (£3 for over 60s). More information is available on the Artsdepot website.

Capital Age Festival will take place from 1 to 15 July. For information on all events, visit the festival website.
 

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