A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

On Railton Road

On Railton Road
02 November 2023
Museum Of The Home
5.0 out of 5.0 stars

The Museum of the Home is currently hosting a brand new production of On Railton Road, a queer play based on real events.

In the 1970s, amidst a devastating housing crisis, radical gays started squatting in dilapidated and neglected houses across Brixton, many of which were ruled as unfit for habitation. They took over terraced houses in Railton Road and Mayall Road, knocked down garden walls to create a community garden, opened a gay community centre, and tried to build a safe and welcoming space for themselves.

The play gives an insight into how these people lived and operated at the time, exposing their inner thoughts and outer experiences. Each scene is interspersed with a scene from “Mr. Punch’s Nuclear Family”, a play questioning the patriarchal structures that dictated moral values in society at the time, originally written and performed by the Brixton Faeries, a radical theatre group that was an integral part of the gay community movement.

On Railton Road is a beautiful view into the lives of people pushed to radicalism to find community and legitimisation, people pushed to the fringes of society who organised together to fight back. It’s deeply emotional and touching, showcasing the variety of personalities and world-views that came together in the 70s in a common goal. The small scale production is personal and intimate, beautifully reminiscent of community street theatre.

This is a production you won’t want to miss if you have any interest in, or connection to, LGBT+ history. You can also find more information on the squatters movement on www.revoltinggays.com

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