BY MICHELLE TIWO

How did you know? Are you a boy or a girl? Can I watch? How did you choose your name? Who’s the man in the relationship? How do you have sex? You down for a threesome?

Questions of ignorance or curiosity? For those of us who identify as queer or trans, bisexual or gay, the questions above are all too familiar.

Most are asked expecting an answer, others are rhetorical as if our sexuality and gender identities are something to be gawked at.  

A curiosity that unfortunately exists because when it comes to queer theatre, often the focus is cis white gay men and their stories. Very rarely do we get a glimpse into the vast experiences that exist. 

Michelle Tiwo in And The Rest of Me Floats © Helen Murray

Outbox Theatre set out to shift that narrative with And The Rest of Me Floats.

Presented at Bush Theatre throughout February and March, the play is an unapologetic celebration and examination of gender and identity, drawing on the very questions that have been used to alienate and dehumanise members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Directed by Ben Buratta, the play is written entirely by its cast in an autobiographical style.

Performers play themselves rather than characters – both owning and sharing what it means to be non-binary, trans, and queer.

We travel from Barry Fitzgerald’s Irish household and Yasmin Zadeh’s Iranian living room to my Nigerian/Togolese home, to Tamir Amar Pettet’s Bar Mitzvah in Jerusalem.

It is anything but linear and most definitely not a static journey.

Full cast in And The Rest of Me Floats © Helen Murray

And The Rest of Me Floats is proof that our stories, as a community, are all connected – whether through the internet, in our safe spaces and, at times, even through internal and external violence.

Outbox carry out the mission of effortlessly dismantling the order of stage theatre, to create a new kind of contemporary standard.

The play serves to inform, to move, entertain, and also to remind everyone – queer or otherwise – that ultimately we are the only ones who can provide ourselves with the autonomy and agency to move how we please through the world.

And The Rest of Me Floats plays at the Bush Theatre until 16 March 2019. Book your tickets here. For Outbox Theatre visit outboxtheatre.com, follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For more on Bush Theatre visit bushtheatre.co.uk

COMPETITION

Win! Tickets to see And The Rest of Me Floats…

And The Rest of Me Floats is a messy, anarchic, gender-fuck celebration of a show. Seven LGBTQ+ performers share their autobiographical stories and play live all your favourite queer anthems!

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to And The Rest Of Me Floats, simply answer – What is your queer power anthem?

Email your answers to editorial@divamag.co.uk with the subject MY QUEER POWER ANTHEM IS…

T&Cs: The winner will receive two complimentary tickets to one performance of And The Rest Of Me Floats. Accommodation and travel are not provided as part of this prize. Competition closes Monday 11 March 2019.

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