The UK's only dedicated LGBT+ theatre

Reader's Digest Editors

Known for its focus on gay-themed work, Above The Stag is the UK's only dedicated LGBT+ theatre, and produces the vast majority of its shows in-house including drama, comedies, musicals and cabaret, an award-winning annual adult pantomime, play readings and exhibitions.

It was founded in 2008 in a function room above the now-demolished Stag gay pub in Victoria, before moving to its first Vauxhall venue in 2013, growing a large and loyal audience.

Above The Stag Theatre's new home opened this year with a production of Jonathan Harvey's Beautiful Thing. It is housed in two connecting railway arches on Albert Embankment in London featuring two theatre spaces - a 100 seat end-on theatre and a flexible 60+ seat studio. The £1.4m venue also hosts an all-day bar and kitchen with freshly prepared food by The Bear Chefs, offering locally sourced, flexitarian seasonal menus served in its retro industrial aesthetic bar.

Current productions include:

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)

by Joanne Bogart and Eric Rockwell

Until 22 December

One story – five mini musicals!

This affectionate and hilarious send-up tells one story in five distinctive musical theatre styles. Why choose between Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Kander & Ebb or Jerry Herman when you can have them all!

In The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) the story of a young ingenue and her evil landlord gets played out as a rock opera, a dream ballet set in Kansas in August and a sexy satire in a Chicago speakeasy. A big Off-Broadway hit – and a perfect winter treat.

Mother Goose Cracks One Out!

by Jon Bradfield & Martin Hooper

Until 12 January

Celebrating 10 years of Above The Stag Theatre’s adult pantomimes!

Kind-hearted Mother Goose and her gay son Tommy live in poverty in the generic northern mill town of Rugburn. One day they find a magic goose who lays golden eggs, but little do they know that a wicked witch and a good fairy have made a bet: can even the saintly Mother Goose be corrupted by wealth?

Mother Goose Cracks One Out! transforms the much-loved, practically unknown fairy tale into a fabulously filthy and gloriously silly riot of laughter, romance and song with all the traditional panto trimmings.

Grindr: The Opera

by Erik Ransom

From 17 Jan — 16 Feb

Returning by popular demand since it’s sell out 2018 summer production, Grindr: The Opera! puts the most notorious gay hook-up app into the exaggerated world of opera. With musical styles ranging from baroque to contemporary pop, Grindr: The Opera! is a daring, humorous look at the changing landscape of gay relationships, and the greatest catalyst for the shift: Grindr.

IAN McKELLEN ON STAGE

With Tolkien, Shakespeare, others…and you!

6 February 2019 – SOLD OUT

A message from Ian McKellen:

I’m celebrating my 80th birthday by touring a new solo show to theatres I know well and a few that I don’t. The show starts with Gandalf and will probably end with an invitation to act with me on stage. In-between there will be anecdotes and acting. I open at my local arts centre in January and end up by August in Orkney.

Live theatre has always been thrilling to me, as an actor and in the audience. Growing up in Lancashire, I was grateful to those companies who toured beyond London and I’ve always enjoyed repaying that debt by touring up and down the country myself, with the RSC, the National Theatre, Prospect Theatre, the Actors’ Company, as well as with commercial productions.

As part of the London Tour of my new solo show, I wanted to make my debut at the UK’s only full-time LGBT+ theatre. I will include my memories of the first production of Martin Sherman’s sensational Bent, words from Armistead Maupin and a few surprising gay characters in Shakespeare! All profits will help provide sound-proofing of Above The Stag Theatre’s main house in lovely Lambeth. See you there, I hope!

IAN McKELLEN ON STAGE is presented by Ambassador Theatre Group

Pinocchio: No Strings Attached

by Jon Bradfield & Martin Hooper

Book now for next year’s panto! 

November – January 2019

The story of a lonely woodcutter who lovingly carves a boy out of wood is gobsmackingly reimagined as a dazzling adult pantomime.

A spell transforms Pinocchio into a real boy, and sends him on a great adventure. But soon he discovers he has a very peculiar affliction: whenever he tells a lie, Pinocchio starts to grow – in a very embarrassing place.

A glorious concoction of comedy, songs, slapstick and sweet-throwing, and a tale that reminds you: if you can’t get love, you can at least get wood.

For more information and to book tickets visit abovethestag.com.

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