Help The Ages

From 14 - 19yrs old I worked for a theatre company called Spare Tyre, We developed three community musicals in Camden at Roundhouse & Cochrane theatre, using elders to recreate their personal stories from different decades. After the success of the shows I was taken on as company trainee to develop training shows with older people for the Fire Brigade, NHS, Primary Care Trust & social services, improving the way each service interacted with older people & giving those in the performances acting, directing & workshop skills.

(Bernard - Spare Tyre)

After my time with Spare Tyre I began to teach a new group of elders performance at St Marys, here I taught performance and helped them direct their own show.

Since finding the bright lights of club land and 'avant garde' I haven't revisited my work with elders and it has begun to bug me.

Gays - past 35 and your dead on the scene or you disappear!? We happily promote airbrushed images of 18 yr olds with other 18yr olds all with their tops off, living for the weekend & gymbox memberships. I know this isnt the be all and end all of our community but its more common than the 'underground' gay scene.

Where are the older wiser queens? Do we need to socialize by D.O.B? What services are out there for LGBT Elders?

Most communities see there elders as wise humans with valuable knowledge and stories to share, they are also cared for and made sure services are in place to provide specialized support for these people. The older gay community need to communicate with the younger and be assured it isn't all Kylie, GHB & pretense and a mutual respect can found for each other.

With this in mind I have set 2010 as 'Help the Ages' - a body of work developing the generational gap in the LGBT community.

I'm starting with a collaboration with David Hoyle. David is known for his outspoken opinions on 'the youth of today' & the gay scene's obsession with it. 7th Jan marks our first stage collaboration titled 'Help the Aged' (www.rvt.org.uk for info)

In February I'm working with Duckie for 'Valentines Ball' at Battersea Arts Centre, the event is for local people 60+ and Duckie regulars. I shall be presenting an interactive promenade installation titled 'Love's Lost' - a tea trolley that collects stories of love & lust.

I'm also meeting with Age Concern & Help the Aged later in the year to develop strategy for specialized care for LGBT clients focusing on appropriate health care & training on HIV & Aids, language (especially with Trans clients) & implementing specific services as our community gets older.

If you want to get involved or have some thoughts please do get in touch..


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