Thursday, August 26, 2010

Interview: Jonathan Hellyer, star of Elegies For Angels, Punks and Raging Queens

Elegies For Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, currently playing at the Shaw Theatre, is a tapestry of monologues and songs inspired by the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Developed in the late 1980s and originally titled, The Quilt, Elegies, as it is often shortened to, is a moving, often funny and sometimes heartbreaking collection of stories written from the perspective of characters who've died from AIDS, with the songs representing the feelings of friends and family dealing with the loss.

 Dan HG spoke to Jonathan Hellyer (who plays Brian), better known as the man behind the frock of the jaw-droppingly sharp and hysterical cult hit, The Dame Edna Experience.

Dan: Tell us about Edna, where did she come from and when did it all start…

JH: Well… 1993, Birmingham. I was a regular and a member of the Nightingale, Birmingham's big gay club – and I was always known during lock-ins for doing "voices" and things like that, and Edna, and Kenneth and all those silly people and one day they said to me, would you, if we got you some glasses, and a wig and a frock, host a charity night for Birmingham AIDS Trust as, Edna? – and I said yes, I would. And it all went rather well! We had this night, it was supposed to be an hour long show and it lasted three, funnily enough, and so the DE Experience was born. That night there was an agent in the audience who came to me after the show and said, "I could get you loads of work", and I said, "No thank you, I'm happy being a nurse", and he said, "No, I really could get you loads of work", so I thought about then I took some work and then it grew from there. In 1994 I played my first ever gig in London which was at the 2Brewers on a Sunday afternoon – rather marvelous too, and it was in the back room of the old 2Brewers, a superb cabaret venue, a real dive – print that. Now it's Costa Coffee or something. I don't know anyone who aspires to becoming a drag act – I can't imagine a more lacklustre aspiration, but apparently people do, but I didn't, I fell into it very much by accident and that's why it seems . . . a bit casual for me, nothing permanent about it – and here we are, 15 years later…

 Dan: Why do you think its so funny after so long, and why do people still come to see it, week after week after week at the Vauxhall Tavern? How do you manage to keep it funny and relevant?

 JH: Well Dan, when you finish asking the question finally, I don't write it at all, I hoof it, I make it up on the spot. That is probably a really really dangerous thing to do, unless you know what you're doing and of course I know what I'm doing with that audience – I've never written any show I've ever done, and I think that's probably what keeps it fresh, but it doesn't always work, some of the things I say just go over people's heads, which is OK, because there is a relationship between me and the audience, between the act and the audience, and when you tell someone close to you a joke, they don't always get it, but I think the thing that keeps it fresh is that it's not written, its raw, so that I'm flying by the seat of my pants!

Elegies is at the Shaw Theatre until 28 August 2010. Tuesday to Saturday at 7.45 p.m. Saturday Matinees at 4.30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gay Games comming to London in 2018?

London is bidding to host the tenth Gay Games in 2018. The Gay Games, recently held in Cologne, are one of the largest sporting and cultural events in the world.

London coordinator, Jonathan Harbourne, is the founder of the London Raiders softball team and member of the LGBT Sports Network. In a press release he wrote: "Cologne was so inspiring, they put on an amazing Games. Many Brits came home with medals and the LGBT Sports Network is looking forward to putting on a party to welcome home all the athletes.
"We’ve come back fired-up to bring the Games to London – taking it to the next level. London is in such a strong position to host the games in 2018. The 2012 Olympics will provide the best facilities in the world . . . this is going to be great for LGBT people, great for sport, and great for London."
The London 2018 Gay Games Bid committee are seeking volunteers to join their team, at all levels, to produce a winning bid. A public meeting is planned for January 2011 to bring together all potentially interested parties.
The website launches at the end of next month.
Gay Games 1998 - 12Image via Wikipedia
Gay Games VIIImage via Wikipedia


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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

'Homosexuals not welcome' say couple who want to foster

Laws against homophobic hate crime and speach ...Image via Wikipedia
"'Homosexuals not welcome' say couple who want to foster John and Collette Yallop, from Blackburn, insist they're not homophobic A former vicar and his wife are considering legal action after being barred from fostering children because of their Christian beliefs on homosexuality.

John and Collette Yallop, from Blackburn, told Lancashire County Council they would not want gay couples hoping to adopt, to come to their home.

Rev Yallop, who manages the St Barnabas Church and Community Centre in Johnson Street, Blackburn, said he was not prepared to allow gay couples in his home because of the ‘confusion’ it would cause to his children, aged five and seven.

The Yallops claim they've been refused because of their faith.

They have two children of their own and have been trying to foster since March.

They insist they're not homophobic and say inviting gay couples into their home for the handover process would be detrimental to their family life."

How are they not homophobic????

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Saturday, August 07, 2010

Drug sniffer dogs to be used at Brighton Gay Pride - from Pink News - all the latest gay news from the gay community - Pink News

Fancy MEATing you here!Image via Wikipedia
"Drug sniffer dogs are being deployed by police at Brighton Pride, the first time such a tactic has been used at a Pride event." Apparently this is to target dealers.

source :
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Monday, August 02, 2010

Joe McElderry comes out as Gay

"X Factor winner Joe McElderry has come out as gay just weeks after he claimed that he was straight. Earlier this month, pranksters hacked into his Twitter account and posted messages including: 'It's been difficult living a lie for so many years…' Despite denying publicly that he was gay, the incident prompted him to come out to his mother.

Today, on his official website, he said: 'I have always been a very honest person and so it is important for me to continue to be honest.

'It has been the most amazing year so far and I feel so privileged. It’s also been a time of real self realisation and I feel as if I have grown up so much in these few months. 'There has been speculation about my sexuality in the past and I have always been honest at the time I have been asked.

'Over the past few weeks I have really had time to reflect and to realise who I am. I spoke to my friends and family about this in the last few days and it was important to do the same for you all as you have been so supportive. 'I have had nothing but support from you and many of you have been very open in saying that you will continue to support me whatever my sexuality. It is important to me to let you know first, so that you know the stories in the papers are true. I made the choice to speak openly about this.'