Thursday, 31 August 2017

We're excited to announce that Arts Council England has offered us a grant so that we can develop our new stage show that explores the queerness of Lady Macbeth.

Lady M is the show, which is all about the relatioShane Lynch, who will join 1623 as anxious tightrope-walking drag queen Lady M, based on his own experiences and those of Shakespeare's creationnship between the biography of drag artist Shane Lynch and the character arc of Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth. 

Shane will play a theatrical version of himself as he prepares to become an anxious tightrope-walking drag queen called Lady M, a unique combination of his own identity and that of Shakespeare's creation.

We will develop and share a work-in-progress show in autumn 2017.

Shane said:

"I'm very grateful that the Arts Council has offered 1623 funding for the development of Lady M.

"Ben [Spiller, 1623 artistic director] and I will explore in workshops the specific ways in which Lady Macbeth and I struggle with complexities of life such as rigid definitions of gender, alcohol dependency and anxiety. The show that we create will invite audiences to think about their own identities and their place on the LGBTQIA* spectrum.

"We will ask audiences to join our conversation about the balancing act that we all experience between our own perceptions of ourselves, the impact of other people's perceptions of who we are and the implications of this on our mental health.

"I am hopeful that the show will lead to further acceptance of all our unique identities and contributions to society."

Ben added:

Shane with 1623 artistic director Ben Spiller as they celebrate the news that the Arts Council has offered a grant to fund the development of Lady M

"Shakespeare creates a world of binary opposites in Macbeth. When they blur, tragedy kicks in. 

"Lady Macbeth walks a tightrope between man and woman, anxiety and tranquility, night and day, drunkenness and sobriety, serpent and flower, blood and water, creator and destroyer, sleep and consciousness. She is liminal, she occupies space between these seeming opposites. 

"Shane and I want to liberate her from Shakespeare's play and place her in a non-binary world of fluidity, Shane's world, an LGBTQIA* world, our world. We will share her story with audiences from this viewpoint alongside Shane's own fascinating biography, in which Lady Macbeth has haunted him since childhood in various forms (cartoon, text, TV, film, stage). The really exciting moments will be when the two stories come together and we all see ourselves in both Shane and Lady Macbeth."

1623 has launched a month-long crowdfunding campaign to fund workshops with members of Derbyshire's LGBTQIA* communities, who we will invite to take part in creative activities that tie in with the themes of Lady M and how Shakespeare speaks to us today. Please click here to find out more.

Lady M development is supported by Arts Council England through the National Lottery, Derby TheatreDerbyshire LGBT+ and QUAD.

* LGBTQIA stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual, Queer, Intersex/Interested and Asexual/Allies


Notes for editors

  • Shane Lynch and Ben Spiller are available for interviews and/or photoshoots
  • Workshops will take place in October in Derby (dates and venue to be confirmed soon)
  • Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 01332 285434 for more details

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