Beyond the Binary comes to the Gulbenkian: Celebrating diversity in Drama

Katherine Moss

Kent’s Beyond the Binary team will premiere a showcase lecture-concert co-created with non-binary performers The Lunatraktors and comedian Mark Thomas at the Gulbenkian on Thursday 29 September.

The free event, Rowdy Dowdy Boys and Saucy Seaside Girls, has been shaped by ongoing research from the team and memories and experiences shared by the public.

The event is part of an ongoing collaborative research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, and led by Dr Helen Brooks (Reader in Theatre and Cultural History) in Kent’s School of Arts, with colleagues Dr Oliver Double (Reader in Drama and Theatre) and Karen Brayshaw (Manager of the University’s Special Collections & Archives).

The project has brought together students, researchers, performance-makers and academics to undertake original research into historic music hall and pantomime archives. Together they have uncovered new perspectives on performance and gender, both in the past and today.

Dr Brooks said: ‘We’re really excited about the event at the Gulbenkain, and the work that has gone into shaping it. The team have spent the last few months digging through archive boxes and uncovering incredible forgotten stories about how performers over the last 200 years have shaped changing ideas about gender.’