As we move entirely to digital programmes and online free sheets, rather than physical programmes, I'd like to share my Producer's notes from the programme here on LinkedIn, so that readers can get a sense of the why behind this excellent production.
Dumbledore Is So Gay at VAULT Festival was the last thing I watched before the great shutdown of 2020. I edged into my seat in The Network Theatre, anxious not to breathe on other people. Then, Alex Britt as Jack stepped onto stage and delivered the first line of the play. ‘Do you remember in the Prisoner of Azkaban when…’ and suddenly, boom, I was transported back to my childhood: dressing up in wizards robes to collect each Potter instalment from Waterstones in Solihull, scouring Mugglenet for the latest fan theories, and taking a pro plus caffeine pill to pull an all-nighter to finish The Deathly Hallows.
Harry Potter, along with The Beatles and Star Wars, is of course more than a piece of culture. It was, and still is, a moment which became so significant that many people relate to themselves and each other through the context of Harry Potter, as it’s something many of us have in common. I still hear serious discussions about what house someone was sorted into on the internet, as if all Millennials really did all get on the train at King’s Cross to go to Wizard boarding school age 11. If we understand it as a shared experience, even as an experience we consumed through pages and movies, rather than in real life, who is to say this is any less valid?
Re-reading Harry Potter as an adult, I noticed many social mores in the story which would be anywhere from frowned upon to cancelled, if it was first published today. For example, Dumbledore was gay but not out in the books, and there were no LGBTQ+ characters at all. Ron really was very mean to Hermione and it’s not a healthy template for a relationship. I wonder why on earth she’s into him when her other option is an international sports player.
A critical revaluation of the recent past is, to me, core to the appeal of Dumbledore Is So Gay. Robert has written a show which is tightly plotted and has a flawless three act structure, and I’m a sucker for a well-made play. I hope that watching this show opens a door for you to think about and discuss your own experience in relation to the Wizarding World, whether as a super-fan or someone who never read the books.
Thank you to everyone in the cast and creative team for working quickly to get this show on its feet soon after Covid. I’d particularly like to thank Robert Holtom and Tom Wright for their professionalism and patience. This presentation would not have been possible without our funders, both individuals and Arts Council England.
You can book tickets to watch Dumbledore Is So Gay, playing from the 21st - 26th September at The Pleasance Theatre here.
We are releasing a video on demand stream of the production from the 27th September onwards, which you can watch from anywhere in the world. You can book for this, here.