We chatted to Kim about Outbox Theatre’s current production Groove at Oxford House and Manchester’s Contact.
Hi Kim, could you explain what Groove is about? A wonderful and much-needed piece of theatre for every generation. Learning, remembering and embracing what it means to be queer. Revisiting the past which brings tears to the older generation while the younger generation discovers a part of Queer history that was lost and forgotten. The audience will also experience and witness the joy of being queer today and envision the future of a better place for our community.
How does it feel to be bringing Groove to the stage? It’s the best feeling to be able to bring a show to the public that shows our professionalism, our dedication to our craft and being able to live our truth. When I was coming up many performers had to hide who they were which wasn’t good for the mental health. It’s so important in whatever your profession is. Being able to come into the theatre and breath is the best feeling. Many take breathing for granted. When you are able to be yourself, live your truth in a job that you love is slice of Heaven.
What do you think audiences will take away from the performance? The audience will take away history, joy, and learning how we still need to be there for each other. When I was at Heaven, everyone under the rainbow flag came together. In today’s climate everything is separate which is causing much distress with the TERFS, and LGB alliance. GROOVE is a
reminder that we can still love each other without hate fuel by right-wing biggots. Also the audience will take away how wonderful it is to see many generations coming together and how beautiful it can be. The older generation shy away from night clubs because sometimes the younger generation can be unpleasant not realising how we can all benefit from each other.
How does it feel to be part of the show? Being a part of GROOVE has lifted my spirits, it was a reminder to me how there is so much love and respect in our community. Sometimes in life you feel alone in your thoughts. Working with director Ben Buratta and his choice of actors, stage managers, designers etc really brought faith back that life can be so wonderful during this turbulent time in life. This is the first time in my life working on a theatre project where you had straight, queer, and gay all coming together to support each other to create a stunning piece of theatre. No egos just a team who want the best from each other. Every night the cast always compliments each other on their performance. It’s so important because it makes our experience much more enjoyable.
When they come along, what can audiences expect? Needless to say they can expect a great show. They can expect to walk into the theatre and relax. Feel the love in the atmosphere, hear beautiful stories and witness gorgeous dancing with a bit of live singing. During the show, they will be given the choice to join us on stage for a quick dance.
There are also the most incredible lights beaming which brings so much excitement. After the show, they can expect to meet the most stunning cast and have your photos taken with us.
How have you found the experience of being part of Groove so farThis experience has been everything to me. Working with a diverse cast that’s intergenerational is a
blessing. Society as it stands puts so much interest in youth. To work with actors in their 20s and 70s is what life should be about. Everyone, no matter how old you are deserves to shine and in this show, everyone shines bright. Bright.
By Emma Clarendon
Grove will play at Manchester’s Contact Theatre from the 5th to the 7th October.