After The Act (A Section 28 Musical) is an eye-opening performance about Section 28 a series of laws introduced to the UK in the 1980s that prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” in local authorities. The show follows the stories of many queer people at the time sharing they’re thoughts, experiences and protest of this harmful legislation at the time.
I can not explain how important I feel this musical is
We still feel the effects of this legislation today, Section 28 alienated the LGBTQ+ community causing mass hysteria within communities where parents seen queer people as a threat rather than fellow human beings.
We hear from those subjected to harm by the mass homophobia at the time, people who felt they had to hide who they were all these stories portrayed by four actors on stage. One of the main stories follows two lesbian women who protested the act on live evening news and even abseiled into the house of lords! Truly powerful. The musical is full of righteous anger and a feeling of hope almost as you hear the stories of the people who fought back.
The show begins with the Jenny Lives With Eric And Martin story, a book about a same sex couple who were parents to Jenny which started an outcry in Britain as the misinformation spread about gay people made them feel homosexuals wanted to corrupt their children. Unfortunately we see a similar situation today with the ongoing debates around trans people in the UK and how they are often treated as second class citizens due to misinformation and politicians demonising their identity.
The musical also delves into the AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s where many gay people were shunned due to so much misinfromation spread about the diesease by the media.
We hear stories of people who went through conversion therapy, bullying, suicide attempts, and more heartbreaking accounts from LGBTQ+ people of the time.
The show tells the story of the people who endured this ugly period and paved a path for those who live today protesting for their basic civil rights. I found myself crying at least three times throughout the show; it is so touching and real.
Underscored with 80s electronica and authentic costumes of the period, I genuinely felt the actors embodied each person who had a story featured in this musical.
I can not explain how important I feel this musical is – people need to know how they end up with the rights they have today by learning about those who fought for them.
Written so well; structured so well and portrays a very important message. I urge anyone who doesn’t know their LGBTQ+ history to see this musical.