Directed by Sita Thomas, with music composed by Phoebe Osborne, Queer Tales is a verbatim piece of theatre that shares stories of LGBT+ people, past and present, from West Wales. Sita and Phoebe grew up in Pembrokeshire. Their collaboration aims to weave personal experiences with music and movement to tell stories, to inspire empathy and build on their community’s sense of pride.
After a successful Located Residency with National Theatre Wales, Sita Thomas went on to secure funding from Arts Council of Wales and MGCfutures to support the second research and development phase where Sita and Phoebe are focusing on writing the script and score for the piece. They will also receive mentorship in terms of dramaturgy and musical composition. Sita is also a recipient of a Jerwood Bursary to support her research into verbatim theatre.
Their ultimate aim is to create a full-length production that will tour regionally and rurally to small and mid-scale theatre venues, schools and community centres.
What the piece means to Sita
“At the start of 2019, I was supported by National Theatre Wales to carry out a first R&D for a verbatim piece of theatre. Having grown up in West Wales, where there were not many role models for someone like me (a queer woman of colour), it was only since moving to London that I came out, and learnt about, explored, and have become empowered in these different aspects of my life. I wanted to go home to examine what has changed and what the situation now is for LGBT+ people living in rural communities.
I thought if I could connect with five people who shared my experience we could have some rich material for storytelling, and after one callout over four days forty people came to be interviewed and share their stories. I have twenty hours of interview material collected from this weekend. I used the rest of this first R&D to collaborate with composer Phoebe Osborne to test a form of verbatim music theatre. This proved extremely fruitful, we found a methodology, and created four draft songs.
This piece is extremely important to me personally and professionally, I hope that it will contribute to the currently small canon of LGBT+ work and will help increase representation, entertain, encourage empathy and build on a sense of local and community pride.”
Sita Thomas – Director
Sita grew up in Pembrokeshire, she went to Ysgol Greenhill School and enjoyed being a member of Torch Youth Theatre and National Youth Theatre Wales.
She has directed short plays at National Theatre, Rich Mix, Southwark Playhouse, RADA and Old Vic. Theatre as Director: We Are Shadows: Brick Lane (Tamasha), The Rose and the Bulbul (Stockwood Park, Horniman and Geffrye Museums, Lauderdale House). As Staff Director: Top Girls (National Theatre). As Associate: The Glee Club (Out of Joint, Kiln, Cast), Bitched (Tristan Bates); Zigger Zagger (Wilton’s Musical Hall). As Assistant Director: Pity (Royal Court); Mass (Southbank Centre); Peter Pan Goes Wrong (UK Tour).
Theatre as Choreographer: Jack and the Beanstalk and Aladdin (Watford Palace). Theatre as Movement Director: Sisters (National Theatre Wales), Much Ado About Nothing (Watford Palace).
Sita holds a PhD from the University of Warwick and a Masters in Movement Direction from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is also a presenter on Channel 5’s milkshake!
Phoebe Osborne – Composer/Songwriter
Phoebe grew up in Tenby and studied Music Culture at the university of East London. She is a vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist who has been working professionally in the music industry and community and education settings for the past 10 years with organisations including London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Roundhouse, Southbank Centre and Goldsmiths University.
Phoebe writes and performs across UK and Europe with her project Penniless Cove and following her live performance on Clive Anderson’s Loose Ends, is releasing a series of music videos ‘postcards’ through the year. Phoebe is eager to explore creating social change through composition and collaboration.