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This week’s #MondayMemories recalls the Come As You Are festival that provided our fortieth anniversary year of 2018 with some of its stand out moments. 

Lighthouse was founded on the principle of inclusivity – it’s a space for everyone – so Come As You Are, a carnival of innovative contemporary theatre that revelled in issues that relate to male, female and all points in between and beyond, found a happy home here. 

The festival’s first edition at Camden People’s Theatre the year before was headlined by Lucy J Skilbeck’s award winning show Bullish by Milk Presents and the play again topped the bill on the touring edition, which played Lighthouse from 29 November to 1 December with five performances augmented by workshops and discussion panels as Lighthouse reached out to members of the wider LGBT and related communities. 

Audience development work enabled by Arts Council England funding saw a festival ambassador appointed to spread the word and build a bridge between Lighthouse and the community and the Queering the Space initiative saw Lighthouse made more welcoming and accessible for LGBT+ audiences by removing gender designation from toilets for instance. 

Come As You Are was conceived as an on-going partnership to showcase new and innovative work that not only reaches out to new audiences, but also engages existing ones.

:: The Shows

Scratch Night, Thurs

Three 20-minute performances of ideas in development created by trans, non-binary and gender queer artists from the local area.

Bullish, Thurs to Sat

The award-winning show from Milk Presents, the makers of the smash hit Joan, Bullish pitted ancient mythology against modern gender navigation to furiously disrupt, traverse and rewrite the rulebook… with songs!

Non-Binary Electro Hour, Fri

Live music and theatre converged in Ray Filar’s acclaimed ‘gig theatre’ celebration of gender variance and fantasy, a tale of gender fluidity told in electro-punk form with sci-fi, striptease and spoken word.

Double Bill: I’m Bitter About Glitter & Deuce, Sat

Liz Clarke’s I’m Bitter About Glitter was a collaboration with her nine-year-old son in which grit and glamour collided in a gentle exploration of identity that beautifully blended fantasy and reality. Devised by Rachael Miles and Tom Marshman, Deuce recalled their experience of growing up in the grip of the hateful Clause 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act that banned local authorities from ‘promoting’ homosexuality. Using pop cultural references it unpicked historical representations of gender non-conformity.

Published 26 October 2020