Preview performance of groundbreaking new show to take to the stage at the Playhouse

DOING IT IN STYLE!: Actresses Michelle Wiggins, Abby Oliveira, Mel Bradley and Claire Dooher rehearse for Lesbian Style.
DOING IT IN STYLE!: Actresses Michelle Wiggins, Abby Oliveira, Mel Bradley and Claire Dooher rehearse for Lesbian Style.

A preview performance of a new play challenging stereotypes faces by the LGBT community will be staged at Derry’s Playhouse before moving to Dublin for the International Gay Theatre Festival.

‘Lesbian Style’ by Inishowen writer Hilary McCollum isn’t about fashion.

It’s about the lives and loves of women who love women – ranging from romance to role models, coming out to breaking up, bereavement to vajazzling.

Drawing on interviews with lesbian and bi women as well as the writer’s own life, this wonderful new play will be staged at The Players Theatre at Trinity College in Dublin,from 12 – 17 May – but not before local audiences have the chance to see it first on May 8.

Lesbian Style is produced by Derry theatre company Sole Purpose Productions and directed by Patricia Byrne.

Hilary McCollum’s award-winning short play Coming Out: Lesbian Style featured in Acting Out’s evening of LGBT plays for National Coming Out Day in Dublin in October 2013.

Hilary said: “Everybody needs stories. It’s part of what makes us human.

“But until recently, stories of lesbian lives have been silenced and censored.

“Lesbian Style aims to tell some of those stories – to share and celebrate what has been hidden or ignored.

“I am delighted that Lesbian Style will be part of the biggest gay theatre festival in the world.”

Ruth McCarthy, Director of Outburst Queer Arts Festival, loved the play when she attended a rehearsed reading organised by Sole Purpose during Foyle Pride in Derry last August.

Ruth said, “Lesbian Style runs the full gamut of real Irish lesbian experience, with a refreshing warmth and openness that skilfully handles both the tough realities of lesbophobia and the giddy highs of dyke love and queer power.

“Wonderful stuff, way overdue.”

The play is performed by Michelle Wiggins, Abby Oliveira, Mel Bradley and Claire Dooher. Michelle Wiggins has returned to Northern Ireland after many years performing across the UK.

She appeared in Lachlan Philpott’s The Trouble With Harry at The MAC in Belfast as part of Outburst Queer Arts Festival last year.

Abby Oliveira recently performed in the Greenwood Theatre Company’s production of The Life of Galileo.

Mel Bradley is a performance poet, actor and burlesque artiste and Claire Dooher is an up and coming stand-up comedienne.

Director and producer, Patricia Byrne, said: “This is a very entertaining and important play, it makes the lives of lesbian and bisexual women visible, it brings forth hidden histories.

“But it’s not just for an LGBT audience – these powerful tales will appeal to anyone who comes to the theatre wanting to be moved and entertained.

“The play has been developed through the Sole Purpose LGBT Theatre Labs which we run twice a year.

“They provide a safe and creative space for writing on LGBT themes to flourish.”

You can catch Lesbian Style on Thursday 8 May at 9pm in the Playhouse. Tickets are £5.

To book, call the box office on 028 7126 8027 or online at www.derryplayhouse.co.uk

If you would like to book tickets for Dublin, please contact The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival at www.gaytheatre.ie