Orange Works presents Locusts by Ian Tucker-Bell & Garth McLean, directed by Philip Holden.
Locusts is a new play based upon lived experience of gay conversion therapy within evangelical churches in the UK in the 1980s. Locusts premieres at the Old Red Lion Theatre before transferring to the Edinburgh Fringe from August 14th.
The play focuses on Stephen who is contacted out of the blue by Pete, the pastor of the church he attended as a young man in the late 1980s. Back then Pete taught the church youth that there was no such thing as a gay Christian - leading Stephen to a personal crisis as he tried, and failed, to balance his faith with his emerging sexuality. When Stephen finally came out Pete prayed that God would make him straight – and believes it worked. Now Pete wants the same for his daughter - and he wants Stephen to help.
Locusts focuses on the more subtle forms of gay conversion therapy that many churches offer to this day. Initially Ian, one of our writers, was concerned these forms weren’t “dramatic” enough, but the more we explored the topic and his experiences, the more we realised how insidious this practice is. As we wait for a ban on gay conversion therapy, church leaders are lobbying to continue - persuading young men and women that they are in sin, and that God will heal them, no matter the psychological damage they cause.
Orange Works is a new-writing company based in Kent. They have been regular performers at the Edinburgh Fringe since 2017 when their first play, From Today Everything Changes, was warmly received by audiences and critics alike. That play was followed with Trans Pennine, Being Frank, and last year’s Hobn*bs & Fruitcake. Their work often features LGBTQ+ themes and is almost always rooted in real life experience. This summer they will perform Locusts in London, Edinburgh, Faversham, Tonbridge, and Madrid.
Performance: Saturday 5th August
Performance time: 7.30 pm
Tickets: £10 / £13