This year Harrogate Theatre is working in partnership with Pride in Diversity Harrogate. As part of this we’re bringing a festival of shows in June, all about owning our identity and celebrating our freedom to be true to ourselves.

We kick off on Tuesday 11 June with Hayley and Me, a cabaret show taking a nostalgic look at the character Hayley Cropper from Corrie and her place in trans history. Expect a little audience interaction, a lot of Spice Girls and a very iconic anorak. The performance will be followed by a film screening of MUM and a Q&A.

How to be Amazingly Happy! on Weds 12 June asks ‘how do you find a new ‘once upon a time’ when the ‘happy ever after’ never turned up’? This big thinking show of storytelling and physical comedy follows Victoria’s mid-life search for joy, identity and belonging as she asks - is it possible to be happy without kids?

On Thursday 13 June Mark Farrelly presents Quentin Crisp - Naked Hope a solo show which debuted to rave reviews at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival. It immediately transferred to a run at the off-West End St. James Theatre, and has toured the UK ever since. 

Naked Hope depicts the legendary Quentin Crisp at two distinct phases of his extraordinary life. Firstly in the late 1960s in his filthy Chelsea flat. Here Quentin surveys a lifetime of degradation and rejection. Repeatedly beaten for being flamboyantly gay as early as the 1930s, but also ostracised simply for daring to live life on his own terms.

The second part of the play transitions the audience to New York in the 1990s. Here a much older Quentin, finally embraced by society, regales the audience with his sharply-observed, hard-earned philosophy on how to have a lifestyle: “Life will be more difficult if you try to become yourself. But avoiding this difficulty renders life meaningless. So discover who you are. And be it. Like mad!”.

For Only An Hour (14 June) is a one man romp and jaunt through pop culture, queer art, childhood dreams and life changing surgery, danced to a hilarious medley of Angela Lansbury, Delia Smith and Bette Midler. This is a story told through dance, song, spoken word and performance art - and it’s a beauty! 

Finally, In the Bones (18 June) focuses on the story of a troubled young soldier who took his life following a return home from war. This is a moving tale with glimpses of the life he left behind; playful interactions with his sister, intimate moments with his partner, and coming out to his mother. 

Join us as we celebrate Pride in Diversity in 2019 with some exhilarating and thought-provoking cultural treats!

First Published in the Harrogate Advertiser on Thursday 16th May.