WHAT’S ON OCTOBER: Love Song to Lavender Menace at Platform

Love Song to Lavender Menace, will be at Platform, Easterhouse on Sunday 29 October 2017.

On Edinburgh’s Forth Street in 1982, two friends – Bob and Sigrid – open their new LGBT and Feminist bookshop, Lavender Menace. A trailblazing venture that began life in the cloakroom of a gay club, the shop quickly becomes the beating heart for Edinburgh’s LGBT+ community.

Image: Aly Wight

Now, on the final night of the shop’s existence, sales assistants Lewis and Glen take a look back at its origins, its importance, its celebration of queer culture, how things have changed…and straight away, the arguments begin.

Image: Aly Wight

Love Song to Lavender Menace is a love story, in which two guys wrestle with their feelings for each other, for books, and for the changing world they find themselves in. It is a beautifully funny and moving exploration of the love and passion it takes to make something happen, and the loss that is felt when you finally have to let it go.

Image: Aly Wight

Playwright James Ley says: “Writing a play about a bookshop could have been really dry, but the people behind the scenes of this iconic place have made telling this story anything but. This little-known slice of Scottish LGBT+ history has fascinated me as I’ve probed into the story and the world of early 80s Edinburgh. The energy, passion and senses of humour of shop founders Bob Orr and Sigrid Nielsen, and all the people they worked with on this groundbreaking venture, is what fed the drama. I wanted to show the ingenuity, determination, and anarchy of working in the shop. What I’ve arrived at is a bit of a love story between two young guys working in the shop, debating its history and their individual, and shared, futures, on the last night of the shop’s existence. I’d like everyone in Edinburgh and across Scotland to see this play, whether they identify as LGBT+ or not, as I think we’ve got an unique history we should all be proud of that is at times joyful, at times painful, but through it all, you can always find the humour and the love.”

Director Ros Philips says: This is the right time to be telling this story. The argument in the play around capitalism versus community is what attracted me to it, along with the exploration of the feminist roots of Edinburgh’s LGBT activism. Love Song to Lavender Menace also alerted me to Rita Mae Brown, author of Ruby Fruit Jungle, and I’m very excited to share her and all the other characters with a Lyceum audience.”

Matthew McVarish, playing David, says: “I’m very proud to be a part of this play. As a gay Scotsman, this play has taught me incredible things about my own history that I’d never heard before. I’m sure many generations will be grateful to James for cataloguing these significant events in such a beautiful and fun play.”

Love Song to Lavender Menace By James Ley Directed by Ros Philips Starring Matthew McVarish and Pierce Reid.

Platform, Glasgow – 29 October at 2:00pm

Ticket Office: 0141 276 9696 (opt 1) or http://www.platform-online.co.uk