James Corley’s What It Means to make world premiere at Wilton’s Music Hall

New play What It Means from James Corley will have its world premiere at Wilton’s Music Hall this October.

Nisha Oza for The Lot Productions will present the piece, the first show for the newly founded production company as part of their inaugural theatre season.

Directed by The Lot’s Creative Director, Harry Mackrill and starring Richard Cant and Cayvan Coates, What It Means will run from 9 – 28 October, with previews from 4 October.

What It Means is an adaptation of Merle Miller’s seminal essay What It Means to be a Homosexual. Printed in 1971 in the New York Times and published as On Being Different by Penguin. This act of bravery and quiet protest has become a defining part of the LGBTQ+ rights movement as we know it today.

An emotional, one-person voyage through history – some personal, some not – What It Means speaks directly to audiences about the importance of standing up for what you believe in, accepting the validity of one’s own voice and taking a courageous step onto the platform that is offered to you.

The production has set and costume design by Justin Arienti, lighting design by Martha Godfrey and sound design by Beth Duke with artistic associate Ayesha Antoine.

Harry Mackrill, Co-founder and Creative Director of The Lot Productions said: “Fifteen years ago, On Being Different changed my life. It was the first time I saw myself without shame and self-hatred. What It Means is a project that means, like Merle, I have to stand up and be counted. This production will allow audiences to understand Merle’s courage, celebrate the freedoms we have today and inspire them to go out into the world and be the change they want to see.”

Nisha Oza added: “We started developing our inaugural season in 2019, after commissioning the adaptation for What It Means under a newly formed vision of Independent Producing with an Inclusive Mindset.

“We understand the creative power of new voices and platforming new plays to large audiences. As a result, for our ADAPT season – launched with What It Means– we unite three emerging writers with three internationally renowned texts. This develops exciting new voices whilst offering audiences a known quantity – welcoming with the known and sustaining with the new.

“New Writing is Theatre. It is the backbone of our industry and the centre of the art form. We are driven by a strong belief in the marriage of subsidised new writing development and high-quality independent output – embracing a necessary hybrid to champion new work in a post-pandemic landscape.”

For more information and tickets, visit wiltons.org.uk

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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