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Queer Perspectives : Celebrating the Transgressive Lives and Performances of Fanny Kelly and Lola Montez

Past event archive
7 February 2020, 19:00

Ondaatje Wing Theatre

Free ticket required

  • Talks and Lectures||Friday Lates||LGBTQI
  • Book now


Sadie Lee introduces a fantastical journey through the lives and loves, romances and revolutions and conquests of Lola Montez, one of the great women of the nineteenth century, and her muse Fanny Kelly.

Fanny Kelly ran London's first drama school from her Royalty Theatre in Soho. Her cross-dressed performances enthralled and appalled in equal measure. She was a noted and notorious Drag King a hundred years before the term first appeared in print. 'You are very partial to a disguised Male Dress but let me not experience any more of your Folly!' - shouted by an audience member as he shot her with his pistol.

Lola Montez was a stimulant and inspiration to all who saw her perform on the stages of the world. From the Outback of Australia, through the Opera Houses of Europe, to the Wildest West of America, Lola Montez shocked, scandalised, enthralled, delighted, amazed and offended all who saw her dance. She started revolutions. 'Utterly subversive to all ideas of public morality. A tigress, the very comet of her sex,' said the press.

Watch Fanny Kelly's gender fluid performances and Lola Montez's transgressive dances. Hear their words and be astonished by what is presented before you.

Director: Luke Dixon
Musical Director: Tyrone Landau
Performers: Penelope Diamond, Theresa Hoffmann, Fiona McKinnon
Accordion Player: Nia Davies

Queer Perspectives, which has been running since 2007, is a quarterly event which takes place on the first Friday of February, May, August and November. Resident artist Sadie Lee invites guests who identify as LGBTQI to join her. The format can vary from guests selecting, discussing and highlighting works in the Collection and beyond which have a personal resonance, often teasing out surprising links and hidden histories, or talking on a subject close to them, or sometimes performing. Past guests include Ali Smith, Sunil Gupta, David McAlmont, Andrew Logan, Amy Lamé, Richard Dyer, Alan Hollinghurst, Neil Bartlett, Scottee, Bird la Bird, Lady Phyll and Sophie Ward.