Riot Act, a powerful, brand new verbatim theatre piece, created especially for the King’s Head Theatre’s Queer Season, wil premiere Tuesday 31 July - Sunday 5 August.
Playwright and performer Alexis Gregory interviewed one of the only remaining Stonewall survivors - the 1969 NYC riot that kick stared the gay rights movement; a member of a 1970’s London radical-drag troupe- underground alternative performance icon Lavinia Co-Op; and prominent 90’s London ACT UP AIDS activist Paul Burston. All three men spoke about their lives then and their lives now. Riot Act is shaped entirely, word for word, out of these interviews.
‘You know what’s strange, I felt safer on the night of the riots, on the sidewalk in front of Stonewall, than I did in my own home town’
‘I’m a drag queen. I want to live. I want to survive. As an older person, I’m 65 now, I couldn’t give a f*cking shit’
‘In London, the idea of ‘safe sex’ was; don’t sleep with Americans. James was older; a mature student. He was 22 years old when he died’
Hard-hitting, provocative, tender, truthful, funny, political and personal, these are stories of queerness, sexuality, activism, addiction, family, childhood, love, sex, drag, community, togetherness, conflict, identity, youth, ageing, loss, fierce queens and a Hollywood diva.
Alexis Gregory plays the three roles in this, his first solo theatre piece, ‘channeling’ six decades of queer history.
Riot Act, directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE, is the follow up piece to Gregory’s recent critically acclaimed sell-out three week run of Sex/Crime at alternative queer venue, The Glory, in which he performed opposite Jonny Woo.
Riot Act is produced by Alexis Gregory in association with Team Angelica.
Alexis Gregory - Writer and performer
Alexis Gregory is a London-based playwright, performer and producer. Plays include his debut, the immersive ‘Slap’, directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE (Theatre Royal Stratford East / ‘pop-up’ performances at Channel 4’s London HQ - the channels first ever onsite theatrical presentation and at warehouse space, ‘Concrete’ in Shoreditch for The Telegraphs 2016 Pride celebrations), published by Team Angelica, long listed for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize, currently being adapted into a film version, verbatim theatre piece; ‘Safe’ on LGBT youth homelessness (Soho Theatre - Pride in London Arts Festival / London Theatre Workshop - media partnered with ‘Attitude’ magazine - both directed by Robert Chevara / Norwich Theatre Royal directed by Alexis), created in association with the Albert Kennedy Trust, published by Oberon Books and the April 2018 sell-out run and critically acclaimed ‘Sex/Crime’ at alternative East-End queer venue, The Glory, with Alexis acting opposite queer cabaret legend Jonny Woo, also directed by Chevara and the workshop of ‘Bright Skin Light’ (Theatre Royal Stratford East). Short plays include ‘And Where There Once Were Two’ (Arcola Queer Collective / The Bunker), ‘Freak’ (Bush Theatre), ‘Orlando, Judy Garland and The Fierce Children of the Light - In Response to the Orlando Attack’ (St James Theatre). He is a regular guest reader at LGBT literary salon; ‘Polari’ (Southbank Centre / UK tour) and a judge for the Polari First Book Prize, produces or co-produces much of his own work and is regularly funded by Arts Council England.. Additional acting credits include several plays with Rikki Beadle-Blair’s Team Angelica company (Riverside Studios / Pleasance Theatres - London and Edinburgh / The Drill Hall / Birmingham Rep / Tristan Bates Theatre), ‘First Signs’ (Kings Head), ‘Sparkleshark’ - Write To Play with Phillip Ridley (Southwark Playhouse), ‘Eight’ (Kings Head / Tara Arts / Tristan Bates), Larry Kramer’s ‘A Minor Dark Age’ (Operating Theatre Company), ‘You Couldn’t Make It Up’ (New End Theatre), workshop productions of ‘Children At
Play’ (Young Vic) and ‘A Thousand Miles of History’ (High Tide), performance art piece ‘Gasping Words’ (ICA), ’SwanSong’ (Kings Head Queer Fest). Screen credits include several of Team Angelica’s features; ‘Bashment’, ‘Kick Off’ and ‘Fit’ and ‘Free’ (both co- produced with Stonewall), the co-lead in the upcoming short ‘Mankind’ (2018) and ‘Specimen’ (BFI Flare, 2016).
Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE - Director
Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE is a writer, director, composer, choreographer, designer, producer and performer. He has won several awards including the Sony Award, the Los Angeles Outfest Screenwriting and Outstanding Achievement awards. Past projects include several feature films and TV series, including the American feature ‘Blackbird’ starring Oscar-winning actress, Mo’nique, ‘Stonewall’ for the Killer Films New York and BBC Films, Metrosexuality for Channel 4,’ Noah’s Arc for MTV LOGO as well as FIT, KickOff and Bashment for his own company Team Angelica. He is one of the creative directors of the Visionary Youth Project for young European Film Activists. Rikki also works extensively in theatre and has written 28 plays in the last decade that have been performed at Theatre Royal Stratford East, the Bush Theatre, the Soho Theatre, the Tristan Bates Theatre and the Contact Theatre in Manchester. Including the recent groundbreaking Summer In London written for an all trans cast of performers. Rikki is a committed mentor to a great many writers, actors, composers and directors around the world and recently received the The Gay Times Honours award for Services to the Arts
Created and performed by Alexis Gregory
Directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE
Tuesday 31 July - Sunday 5 August
Tuesday 31 July at 8,45pm
King’s Head Theatre
115, Upper Street
Box office:0207 226 8561
£19 / £16
How to get there:
The nearest underground stations are Angel (on the Bank branch of the Northern line) and Highbury & Islington (on the Victoria and London Overground lines).
The nearest rail station is Kings Cross St Pancras.