Wednesday, 2 May 2018

We're thrilled to announce that we have Arts Council England support to make our next show Queer Lady M and an accompanying artists' development programme.

1623 theatre company has been awarded a grant of £30,000 from Arts Council England to make an exciting new show Queer Lady M, and an accompanying programme of development workshops for artists.

Queer Lady M is a one-person show that explores the affinity between Shane Gabriel, a gender-fluid working-class artist, and his idol, Lady Macbeth. The show is all about celebrating LGBTQIA* identity, particularly gender fluidity.

Shane performs a version of himself in the show while drawing from his own life experiences and his encounters with Shakespeare's fierce queen, who he has idolised ever since she slipped into his world through his grandma's telly when he was small.

Last year, Shane worked with Ben Spiller, 1623 artistic director, to explore ideas in workshops with artists and audiences including the Derbyshire LGBT+ youth group, before sharing a work-in-progress at Derby Theatre's scratch night curated by In Good Company.

Since then, Shane and Ben have taken on board feedback from the work-in-progress audience and shared a more recent version of Queer Lady M at the Party Somewhere Else Festival at Nottingham Playhouse.

Shane said: "I'm very grateful that the Arts Council has offered us funding to make Queer Lady M. The show will invite audiences to think about their own identities, as well as their idols and how helpful it is to have them.

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

1623 creative producer Christopher Lydon added: "Huge thanks to Arts Council England, Attenborough Arts Centre and the other project supporters for making Queer Lady M possible.

"We're excited to be given the opportunity to bring this show to life, explore the ideas that will come up and share them with audiences as we try out parts of the show at scratch nights across the UK. We will livestream some of the performances too.

"We've got a great team for this project and we really hope that the results will connect with people, whether or not they know anything about Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth."

Joining Shane (performer), Ben (director) and Christopher (producer) will be Caroline Horton (dramaturgical support), Kitty Winter (movement director), Tim Heywood (set and costume designer) and Adam McCready (sound designer).

Alongside the creation of Queer Lady M will be an artists' development programme facilitated by Michael Pinchbeck. This 6-week course of workshops will take place in the summer (dates coming soon) across the East Midlands (Derby, Leicester and Lincoln).

The focus of each workshop will be the relationship between (auto)biography and the journeys of Shakespeare's characters. The course will culminate in a public scratch night at Derby Theatre, where all artists will share their discoveries through a series of short performances.

Follow @QueerLadyM on Twitter and #QueerLadyM on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest news.

*LGBTQIA - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual or Transgender, Queer, Intersex or Interested, Asexual or Ally


  • Shane Gabriel and Ben Spiller are available for interviews and/or photoshoots
  • Queer Lady M scratch performances will take place across the UK this summer and autumn
  • (Auto)biography/Shakespeare artists' workshops will take place in Derby, Leicester and Lincoln this summer
  • Preview performance of Queer Lady M will be at Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester this December
  • Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 01332 285434 for more details

Support 1623

Support 1623Join our Friends for only £5 a month and receive free tickets and a regular newsletter!

Support 1623Become a Supporter from just £10 a month and get free tickets and invitations to exclusive events!