The UK’s first ever National Pride took place in Huddersfield on 4th July 1981. To mark the 41st anniversary, an immersive theatre event called ‘The Day The World Came To Huddersfield’ will restage the Pride march in Huddersfield Town Centre, before it then debuts at Salford’s The King’s Arms.
Actors will join their audience to become the protesters, shouting slogans and waving placards and banners. As the march progresses, the actors will tell the stories of the people who marched that day. “The Day The World Came To Huddersfield” will then be given a full staging at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield and The King’s Arms in Salford.
Inkbrew Productions have commissioned the 10 monologues that make up the show to capture the story of the Pride 1981 march based on startling characters and compelling histories that they’ve unearthed for the first time.
The monologues are written by award-winning playwrights Stephen M Hornby, Abi Hynes, Peter Scott-Presland (who was on the original Pride 1981 march) and Hayden Sugden.
The street performance recreating the original march will assemble in the courtyard outside the Lawrence Batley Theatre at 2.00pm on Saturday 2nd July. The circular route through the town centre will include parts of the original Pride 1981 march route. This event is free and unticketed. People can simply show up on the day and join in.
The 10 monologues are then given fully staged performances at the Lawrence Batley Cellar Theatre in Huddersfield and at The Kings Arms, Salford on Friday 1st July at 7.30pm, opening the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, and on Sunday 3rd July at 7.30pm.
The performances are funded by the Arts Council of England, Kirklees Council and LGBT+ History Month UK.
Professor Sue Sanders, Chair of LGBT+ History Month and Schools OUT UK said: “This is an extraordinary project. The first national Pride in Huddersfield in 1981 is a wonderful piece of forgotten history that needs to be known across the UK.
“These performances are not just creating some wonderful new theatre, they bringing the past to life in a wonderful, vivid and highly entertaining way.”
Stephen M Hornby, Playwright and Artistic Director of Inkbrew Productions furthered: “The Pride march of 1981 was full of extraordinary characters from Huddersfield and from across the country.
“And the stories! It’s been a treasure trove for the playwrights who found some amazing tales. When we bring them all together it really captures what marching in the UK’s first national Pride felt like.”