Sunday, 12 August 2007

Lessons at the Fringe

I have just spent some time at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. We saw some fantastic stand up comedy, brilliant physical dance theatre and theatre (and of course we saw some not so fantastic). Two shows were moving - the first Stonewall, billed as one persons memory of the Stonewall riots in New York in 1969. Many of us know about the Stonewall riots and their central role in starting the gay liberation movement. Judging from the audience gasp, less of us realised that gay sexuality was finally legalised across the whole of the United States of America in 2003. And of course, it was only in 2000 that the age of consent was equalised here and let us not forget that young people who are perceived to be gay or lesbian are often teased and bullied in schools across the UK on a daily basis.

The second - a physical dance show, 'As a mother of a brown boy' was about the untimely death of a mixed race boy, killed whilst being chased by the police from a burglary scene in 2005. This superb theatre focused on the importance of identity and of feeling comfortable in our skin - an important development task for all of us, something we must help children and young people to do whatever their ethnicity, faith or beliefs, and at the heart of all good sexual health work.

If you are in Edinburgh this August, I recommend both of them.

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