In November 2018, Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation NHS Trust’s LGBT Network commissioned Women & Theatre to work with staff and service users in the development of a theatre piece exploring the diverse experiences of older LGBT people; looking back to that past – at how things were for LGBT people coming out, going out, at work and with family, and drawing connections with their experiences now as well as with the experiences of younger LGBT people today.
During December and early January, W&T’s Artistic Director, Janice Connolly and freelance writer Hannah Graham carried out research; speaking to LGBT people through individual interviews, Skype conversations and small group discussions. They spoke to people aged 55+ of diverse backgrounds and experiences.
From research, Janice and Hannah wrote this collection of monologues, entitled Looking Back, Moving Forwards. It premiered at BSMHFT’s LGBT Celebration Event at the H Suite in Edgbaston on Thursday 14 February 2019. It has since been performed at different BSMHFT in-patient settings and at BSMHFT’s National Day for Staff Networks: Leading for Change Event.
“The performance was fabulous it completely kept me engaged and the discussion afterwards gave an added perspective”
“The monologues are inspiring as they give you awareness of people’s experiences and what they have been or are going through just to be who they want to be and love who they want to love.”
“I learnt a great deal about LGBT history and the experiences of LGBT people.”
Written by Hannah Graham & Janice Connolly
Performer by Janice Connolly, Richard Curnow and Bharti Patel
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust LGBT+ Network