It’s Pride season, yaaas! Pride in London has already WELL AND TRULY kicked off but there’s still plenty of events for you to get involved in and explore leading up to the big weekend on the 7th and 8th July.
From queer culture talks to nights out with drag acts, there’s a whole varied calendar of things to see and do, suited for all kinds of evenings. We’ve rounded up just some of the many events still to come during Pride in London. Be sure to make a note that 7th July is the big day for pride, with the parade, which will see London’s LGBTQ+ community and allies take to the streets to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues, as well as the main stage performances taking place.
Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope
1st and 8th July, Live at Zedel, Piccadilly, W1F 7ED (website)
English actor and raconteur Quentin Crisp is a controversial character, for sure. Being openly gay since the 1930s, he was constantly beaten up for refusing to conform to society. His fame reached peak in the 1970s when The Naked Civil Servant, adapted from his memoir, was turned into a film starring John Hurt. In his later years, he would resort to making comments, such as that homosexuality was “a terrible disease.”
Crisp’s story has been turned into a solo play, written by and starring Mark Farrelly. Directed by Linda Marlowe, ‘Naked Hope’ tells the story of Quentin in London during the 1970s upto his final years in New York. It’s powerful, important, and a knock-out performance from Farrelly.
The Chemsex Monologues
1st – 4th July, Above The Stag Theatre, Vauxhall, SE1 7TP (website)
Described as being the “desperately needed conversation starter we’ve been waiting for”, The Chemsex Monologues will make you want to stop and think about the impact that chemsex can have on individuals and society.
Told through explicit and direct monologues of six different characters, it’s a rare and honest portrayal of the world of chemsex. Written by Patrick Cash, it’s a must-see play that is as thought-provoking as it is touching.
LGBT+ Film Festival: Pride
4th July, Middlesex University, NW4 4BT (website)
For those who haven’t seen ‘Pride’, it’s inspired on the true story of UK gay rights activists join forces with miners to help march during the National Union of Mineworkers strike in 1984. It’s a beautiful, poignant, and touching film.
For London Pride, a free screening of the film will take place at Middlesex University followed by a Q&A session with Gethin Roberts (played in the film by Andrew Scott), Mike Jackson, one of the co-founders of Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM), and Damien Dalton, a poet and writer who was a key figure in the revived LGSM movement in 2014. Two members of the Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSMigrants) group will also be attending.
Zeal: The Pride Improv Festival
5th – 7th July, The Cavendish Arms, Stockwell, SW8 2HJ (website)
Fancy a bit of comedy served alongside your Pride fun? Course ya do.
The Zeal Improv Festival is an opportunity to experience LGBTQ+ improvisers tell their stories, to support diversity and discover new talent at the same time. Get your laugh on with a line-up of impressive talent including Christian Adore and Eaton Messe, The Rainbow Warriors, Going Dutch, The Delight Collective, and a whole load more.
Fish Out of Water
6th July, National Maritime Museum, Park Row, SE10 9NF (website)
Love Disney? This one could be for you. This unique screening of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Hosted at the Maritime Museum (because where else?!), the film is brought to life through gender-bending performances and live drag.
Starring Son of a Tutu, The Middle Aged Mermaid, and Scarlet O’Hora, it’s a must-see spectacle that’ll take you under the seas and then some! Don’t forget to reel yourself in some of the delicious mermaid-themed cocktails and get there early to visit the Mermaid’s Grotto for a nice little surprise…
Grindr: The Opera!
3rd July – 26th August, Above The Stag Theatre, Vauxhall, SE1 7TP (website)
The world of headless torsos and “wot u lookin 4?” told through an immersive opera experience? Sign us the hell up.
With musical styles ranging from baroque to contemporary pop, Grindr: The Opera! has been described as being a “daring, humorous look at the changing landscape of gay relationships, and the greatest catalyst for the shift: Grindr,” whilst the app itself appears as the emcee of the whole show. Portrayed as the personification of a mystical and glittery drag siren, we’re so up for that. Tap!
Queer Me Out: Queer Nightlife in Flux…Thriving or Threatened?
6th July, 6.30pm, W London, Leicester Square, W1D 6QF (website)
Get up-close with the London nightlife movers, shakers and boundary breakers as they discuss London’s LGBTQ+ nightlife, its surging popularity, and what we can expect for its future in this lively panel.
Moderated by Sink the Pink and Mighty Hoopla’s very own Glyn Fussell, the impressive panel line-up features DJ and Culture Correspondent at i-D Magazine Princess Julia, US Commissioning Editor of Gay Times Oly Innes, and transgender feminist slash human rights campaigner Paris
Lees. The 50-minute panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A session and a cocktail reception in the hotel’s bar and lounge. Tickets are free but limited, and can be reserved by visiting the link above.
Speaking of the hotel’s bar and lounge, The Perception, make sure you get your very own taste of Miss Vanjie with their specially-created Pride cocktail. With a donation from all sales of the cocktail being donated to Pride in London, Miss Vanjie is available until 8th July and features a mouth-watering blend of Belvedere Vodka, Lychee Liqueur and lime.
Barry’s Bootcamp: Pride Classes
6th July, 7.50pm, Barry’s Central, East, West or SW1 locations (website)
Okay, bear with us on this one. We know that the last thing you think you’ll be doing during Pride is exercising, but this fitness class has quite a few benefits!
Not only is the Pride-themed class super special in that the iconic ‘red room’ will be transformed into a dazzling ‘rainbow room’ but it’s also in aid of the Albert Kennedy Trust, who will receive 100% of the proceeds from each class. For anyone looking to make some new buddies during Pride, this could just be the perfect ice-breaker. Not only will you feel good from the workout, but you’ll also feel good knowing you have helped raise some much-needed funds for the homeless. Places on the one-off Pride class are available to buy from midday on the 29th June at www.barrysbootcamp.com/london/buy-classes.
Mariah & Friendz: RAINBOW PRIDE
7th July, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, E2 6NB (website)
When TimeOut describes something as ”the best damn drag-circus-burlesque show in town”, you really got to stop and take notice.
Mariah and Friendz is a night out to remember staring the finest from the East London alternative drag and cabaret scene, such as Crystal Beth, Kitty Velour, and Baby Lame. With in-your-face live performances, party tunes all night (including an hour featuring non-stop power ballads), ‘Rainbow Pride’ is the party to be seen at. Get partying with circus kweens and fire-breathing vixens and channel your inner-Mariah Carey.