Life of LGBT asylum seekers to be explored on stage

A new play, inspired by the struggles of lesbians and gay men who have fled to the UK to escape persecution, will be performed in the North East later this month.

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Rights of Passage

Rights of Passage, based on true stories of LGBT asylum seekers, is being staged at the Peter Sarah Theatre, Newcastle College on Tuesday May 24 and Wednesday May 25.

Written by, and starring British comedienne, Clare Summerskill, the show explores the lives of three asylum seekers from Iran, Uganda and Malaysia and is based entirely on the real-life experiences of those who have already made the journey.

Clare Summerskill
Clare Summerskill

It looks in-depth at the issues of those who are detained or deported in this country and reveals what happens when people arrive friendless, penniless and jobless in the UK and are often too afraid to report to the Home Office in case they are sent back to countries where their lives were under threat.

Rights of Passage, which is being performed by Artemis Theatre Company, is supported in the North East by regional charity, Northern Pride, which works to raise awareness of the issues faced by the LGBT community, build mutual respect and end discrimination.

Mark Nichols, Chair of Northern Pride, said: “There has been a lot in the news in recent years about how members of the LGBT community are persecuted and sometimes even punished by death in their own countries due solely to their sexual orientation.

“Little is known publically though about what happens to those who are able to flee to the UK and whether they find the refuge they seek. This powerful new play serves to redress that balance and really get to the heart of what LGBT asylum seekers go through.”

Rights of Passage will be visiting Newcastle as part of a nationwide tour, which runs from May 11 to June 17.  Tickets for the event at Newcastle College on May 24 and 25 are priced at £10 per person or £8 concessions.

More information about this event, which is open to over 14s only, can be found at www.northern-pride.com/event/rightsofpassage.

Details of other events being run by Northern Pride, including its annual Newcastle Pride festival, with the theme be yourself, change the world, #beproud, can be found at www.northern-pride.com.