A Liverpool woman who started a theatre company in northern Thailand is bringing a powerful new production to the city this month as part of Pride.
Natalie Taylor, an LJMU alumni who lives in the city centre, founded Dark Horse Theatre Chiang Mai with fellow drama and music teachers who had all migrated to the Southeast Asian country.
The founders came together ‘out of a love for dark-humoured, engaging and progressive theatre’ and wanted to see more creative arts in the city of Chiang Mai where they lived.
Their productions quickly gained a cult following for their quirky style and love of interesting performance spaces – one production was in an old ice factory – but the pandemic saw many of their team return to their home countries and the company’s activity put on hold. However, it was during the lockdowns that one of the founders, Kelly Holliday, wrote Transistor – a dark comedy drama about Trans and LGBTQ issues.
“Picture the most dysfunctional family you can imagine; stew them over an intense heat and watch them implode” explained Natalie when asked about the show’s story.
The two-hour-long dark comedy focuses on a radical feminist mother who has been estranged from her youngest child since they began their transitioning journey. ”Kelly wanted to write a story about a family – a family who was topical. It’s not about trans people being an issue – that’s not the case – it’s about trans people having issues within a family and not being accepted.
It’s so important to us to make theatre that’s relevant to an audience. And I think the trans debate is highly fuelled at the moment and that’s why Kelly wrote the play.”
Transistor “exposes and explores” some of the conflicts and issues that a Trans person might experience both within modern society and also within the LGBTQIA+ community. It is specifically focused on the very current debate that explores the space between the Trans experience and second-wave radical feminism.
The play runs from 25th to 29th July at The Hope Street Theatre in Liverpool city centre. Tickets are available now via Ticket Quarter. Audience members are warned that the play contains strong language throughout and scenes which some audience members may find upsetting and is suitable for those 16+.