entertainment

LGBT play 'Slap' is for anyone who had to fight to be their true self

2016-06-17
To celebrate Pride in London, Alexis Gregory's LGBT play Slap is returning for one night only. Sponsored by The Telegraph and working alongside Team Angelica, Slap will make a run at Shoreditch's Concrete on June 21. Gregory, who stars in the play himself, has spoken to Attitude to tell us about the inspiration behind the play and why he decided to write it. "My play Slap had a run at Theatre Royal, Stratford East last year and returns for a special one off ‘pop up’ performance hosted by The Telegraph newspaper for their Pride celebrations," he said. CQtrMpCXAAArHx2 "Slap is set over 70 minutes in a grimy bedsit belonging to trans sex worker Dominique, played by myself, and Danny, her gay, ‘bit of rough’, crystal meth-smoking-and-dealing lover. Danny refuses to leave the bathroom and then there is John, a mysterious but (too?) nice punter at the front door who just won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Things start off messy and get messier." Gregory also explains what research he did when writing the play, saying: "I met with some amazing experts in various fields; I was advised on issues such as drug abuse within the LGBT community and on violence within our community too. I spoke to trans support groups and I also lead my life, a certain life. I looked closely at it and I looked closely at the lives of those around me too and I tried to understand and reflect it all within my writing. I wrote about the meeting of gay and trans ‘worlds’ in Gay Clubland and further afield. I wrote about the gay boys doing crystal meth on a Tuesday afternoon." He continues: "I thought about my trans-girlfriend's pain and embarrassment at being misgendered whilst ordering coffee. I explored the concept of wanting to fall in love and the fear of that particular four lettered word too. I thought about the boy I invited to see the first public reading of the play but who had done so many drugs that weekend that he was too paranoid to leave his flat and so missed it." CQt-E7HWcAAl_LO "I wrote about the boys I’d see on the scene and who would then suddenly disappear. Some, I’d bump into in the street, months or years later. The look behind their eyes would tell me exactly what journey they had been on. Some I’d never see again. I wrote the play to hopefully make people think and to make people laugh. I wrote it for anyone who ever sweated it out under the lights of a Vauxhall dance floor; losing themselves in the music, finding themselves and then losing themselves again and having a wonderful time doing so. "I wrote the play for anyone who had to fight, either the world around them or themselves, to become their true self." Alexis explains how he also had written about families because "they all have their own stories." "I wrote the play for anyone who believes in the pure, unadulterated, transformative and redemptive power of glamour; now, there’s a hard drug to kick! All three characters in ‘Slap’ are me. All three characters in ‘Slap’ are so many of us. They say ‘write what you know’ and I did but I also wrote about what I am still trying to get to know and to understand." Slap, directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair and starring Frankie Fitzgerald and Nigel Fairs has been published by Team Angelica and has just been long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. Slap is set to be performed at Concrete in Shoreditch on June 21st. You can get tickets here. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Pride and cliniQ charities. Slap Poster More stories: Male migrants and asylum seekers in Greece are turning to sex work in order to survive How often do most gay men watch porn – and for how long?