From the acclaimed Welsh musical theatre company Leeway Productions, QUEERWAY is a sequin-soaked celebration of LGBTQ+ people from the South Wales Valleys.
The tour begins at Wales Millennium Centre on Friday, 3rd February before heading out across South Wales. The tour of this original piece of performance coincides with February’s LGBTQ+ History Month.
Directed, written, and devised, with the company, by LUKE HEREFORD, with an original composition by GERAINT OWEN and additional music by the multi-instrumentalist BRANWEN MUNN, QueerWay is inspired by interviews with LGBTQ+ identifying people from the Valleys.
Our previous interview with Luke is HERE.
Luke gathered stories, including coming out stories at odds with the stereotype of the small-town boy – or girl – escaping to the bright lights of the big city, the love of a mother for her Trans child, the ‘challenges’ of organising Rhondda Pride or finding lesbian love in your 50s.
Inspiring, moving, and humorous life stories are at the heart of QueerWay.
As you would expect from Luke, the show features a jam-packed witty megamix – ‘Anthem’ – referencing the songs and music of legendary artists, including Judy Garland, Sister Sledge, Village People, Bronski Beat, Kylie and Lizzo. Expect snippets of timeless gay anthems danced to in clubs, sung in karaoke bars, or lip-synced at home.
The song ‘What’s a Parent Supposed to Do?’ explores a mother’s love for her Trans child.
“Shall I call you Michael now?” “Yes, please.” “Ok, no problem, and please bear with me as I make mistakes along the way, but please know…I love you anyway.”
It’s a hugely talented team behind this production. Luke you may remember wrote and performed the 2021 Edinburgh Fringe five-star hit Wales Millennium Centre co-production, Grandmother’s Closet. You can take a look back at our review of that production HERE.
Composer Geraint Owen is the Associate Musical Director on the UK tour – direct from Broadway – of the London Coliseum/ENO production My Fair Lady. QueerWay’s Musical director, Connor Fogol’s musical theatre credits includeThe Phantom Of The Opera (West End) and Les Misérables (UK & Ireland tour). The creative team also includes the multi-instrumentalist Branwen Munn. She has collaborated on recordings and live events with legendary artists, including Madonna and Lady Miss Keir.
Groove is, indeed, at the heart of QueerWay.
As for the QueerWay cast, it includes LGBTQ+ actors and performers, some drawn from the South Valleys. KATE ELLIS performed in Motherlode’s The Good Earth in both Wales and New York; she has worked with National Theatre Wales, Theatr na nÒg, Dirty Protest and Familia de la Noche.
HARRISON SCOTT-SMITH appeared as Ben in Jonathan Harvey’s Hushabye Mountain at Hope Mill Theatre In Manchester. Up-and-coming drag king REN SIMONS performs as Justin King and appears at the night Transition at Cardiff’s The Queer Emporium. ANNE-MARIA PIAZZA performed in Beauty Parade at Wales Millennium Centre and played the lead role of Laura in Brief Encounter (co-produced by the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Theatre by the Lake and Bolton Octagon).
At each venue, QueerWay has BSL interpretation by SAMI DUNN.
Alongside the show, the production company Leeway has developed the QUEERWAY COLLECTIVE, a group of young LGBTQ+ people and their allies exploring the Queer culture of the Valleys and Queer identity through musical theatre and other art forms. The QueerWay Collective is led by HANNAH LADD, Leeway’s creative engagement facilitator.
The tour kicks off at the Weston Studio at the Wales Millennium Centre on Friday 3rd at 8:30pm and Saturday 4th at 3pm & 8.30pm. Tickets are £8 and you can get yours HERE. ust be aware that the opening night is getting close to being sold out.
It then moves to the The Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl at 7.30pm Tuesday 7th February. Tickets are available HERE.
On Friday 9th February they arrive at The Factory in Porth at 7:30pm. Tickets HERE.
The following evening, 10th February it’s Theatr Soar in Merthyr Tydfil at 7.30pm. Tickets HERE.
On Tuesday 14th (perfect Valentine’s Night out) they get to Ffwrnes in Llanelli at 8pm. Tickets HERE.
You can find out more about the show and Leeway HERE.