1623 theatre company

1623's website needs a little attention right now.

We'll have it up and running again very soon!

In the meantime, you can email us on messages@1623theatre.co.uk.

Keep up with us on social media:


Monday 6 April 2020

Hi everyone

We hope you're doing OK, as we all try our best to adapt to new ways of living and working. Such a lot to take in and rethink, isn't there? And juggle while trying to find a bit of balance. We're with you.

QUEER LADY M national tour

Following our first statement a couple of weeks ago, we've been continuing to take the advice from the NHS and keeping to the rules of the government (stay in unless you're a key worker), while speaking with the venues where we were going to continue the tour of QUEER LADY M and community workshops in the coming weeks.

Sadly, we have to cancel the following tour dates:

If you've bought a ticket for one of the shows, please consider donating it to the venue. Box offices are taking big hits, as are other income streams dependent on shows and other activities including workshops. We all need to make sure that the arts are still with us when lockdown is over.

We are working on ways to bring you aspects of QUEER LADY M online through social media while our website is down (it has its own virus). There's a thread of tweets at twitter.com/queerladym with the script and photos from the show, if you'd like to take a look there. More content soon, when we can make it and share it with you.


At 1623 Learning, we've been working to bring you an online version of STAR-CROSSED LOVERS, our new adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, which was due to play at the Martin Harris Centre this month.

Thanks to the team, who have been working at home on creating videos and photography, we now have a new take on the show which is playing out at twitter.com/isolatednurse.

There are also videos and photos at facebook.com/1623theatre and instagram.com/1623theatre, and video at youtube.com/1623theatre. All free to access.

The STAR-CROSSED LOVERS team are Jamie Brown (editor), Corinne Kilvington (Nurse), Michael Muyunda (Romeo), Ben Spiller (director) and Sophie Whitebrook (Juliet).

This new free online version of STAR-CROSSED LOVERS has been made possible thanks to support from Martin Harris Centre and funding from the University of Manchester.


Teachers, students, parents, life-long learners - 1623 Learning is open for all your Shakespeare-related queries. Contact our learning director jamie.brown@1623theatre.co.uk or send us a message by social media. Ask us anything about Shakespeare and we'll do our best to help out. We'd love to hear from you


1623 artistic director Ben Spiller is running a weekly quiz on Sharing Shakespeare - our participatory group on Facebook. This happens on Fridays at 8pm, BST. The questions are text and image based, and cover a range of themes, plays, productions, characters, actors and quotes. Head over and check it out. Lots of fun, if you like that sort of thing.


In Good Company are offering theatremakers online surgeries called OFF THE RECORD, to listen to concerns, offer advice and signpost to other sources of support including financial and well-being. You can contact Ben or Sophie via In Good Company website, ingoodco.org.uk, or social media channels. They have been an incredible help to us and we recommend whole-heartedly.


This is so uncertain right now. As we all make use of digital platforms to share and watch existing work, create and play out new work and think about future possibilities, let's not forget that theatre is all about a shared experience in the same space while breathing the same air. It will happen again. We're not sure when, but it will.

In the meantime, when you watch and enjoy other people's work on screen, please donate what you can to them to help secure their future as artists. If you enjoy a screening by one of the largest companies, please consider splitting your donation between them, your local theatre, companies and artists' emergency funds such as this one coordinated by Rafia Hussain: bit.ly/ArtistsCoronaImpactFund.


Please let us know how you're doing, keep on looking after yourself, your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and community.

Love, solidarity and best wishes

Ben, creative director
Chris, creative producer
Jamie, learning director
Elaine, comms associate

1623 theatre company presents a national tour of


A fabulous fusion of drag, autobiography and Shakespeare

Friday 5 June 2020, 7.00pm Difference Engine captions available

Attenborough Arts Centre, Lancaster Road, Leicester, LE1 7HA

£10 full, £5 concessions

0116 252 2455

Past dates

Saturday 29 February 2020, 7.30pm Difference Engine captions available

Waterside Arts, 1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, Trafford, M33 7ZF

£12 full, £10 concessions

0161 912 5616

Friday 13 March 2020, 7.30pm Difference Engine captions available

Century Theatre, Ashby Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 3LN

£8 full, £7 concessions

01530 278 444

Sunday 15 March 2020, 5.00pm Difference Engine captions available

Slung Low at The Holbeck, Jenkinson Lawn, Holbeck, Leeds, LS11 9QX

Pay what you decide

0843 208 0500

Friday 20 March 2020, 7.30pm Difference Engine captions available

Arena Theatre, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV1 1SE

£10 full

01902 321 321

Friday 17 April 2020, 7.45pm Difference Engine captions available

The Everyman Theatre, Regent Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1HQ

£11.50 full, £10.00 concessions

01242 572 573

Saturday 18 April 2020, 7.45pm Difference Engine captions available

The Everyman Theatre, Regent Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1HQ

£11.50 full, £10.00 concessions

01242 572 573

Sunday 19 April 2020, 7.00pm Difference Engine captions available

King's Head Theatre, 115, Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 1QN

£18 full, £15 concessions

020 7226 8561

Monday 20 April 2020, 7.00pm Difference Engine captions available

King's Head Theatre, 115, Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 1QN

£18 full, £15 concessions

020 7226 8561

Friday 22 May 2020, 7.30pm Difference Engine captions available

The Theatre Shop, Unit 5, Queens Square, Clevedon, BS21 6HX

£12 full

It's time for Queer Lady M's cabaret!

Performed by Shane Gabriel (Funny Girls), Lady Macbeth comes to life like you've never experience before.

There's outrageous lip-syncing, cheeky dancing and sassy conversation as Queer Lady M invites you to enter her world of passion and shade.

But what happens when the show is over, when Shane removes the makeup and puts Lady M to bed? What stories will come to light as we're invited into Shane's twilight world?

Find out in 1623's funny and moving exploration of a unique relationship between a fierce drag queen and her anxious alter-ego who join forces to fight tragedy and celebrate queerness.

Queer Lady M brings together drag, devised performance and Shakespeare while exploring the real-life experiences of working-class, gender-fluid artist Shane Gabriel.

Follow @QueerLadyM on Twitter for all the latest news

Difference Engine captioning available at all performances Difference Engine

The Difference Engine delivers captions to your smartphones or tablet via a free app. If you would like to use the Difference Engine, please arrive a few minutes earlier than you normally would to get setup. Look out for information leaflets at the venue.

The Queer Lady M team

SHANE GABRIEL performer | TIM HEYWOOD set and costume designer | REBECCA LEGG assistant director | CHRISTOPHER LYDON composer and producer | ADAM McCREADY sound designer | MICHAEL PINCHBECK dramaturgical support | LUCY J SKILBECK outside eyes | BEN SPILLER director | KITTY WINTER movement director

Thanks to Sarah Brigham from Derby Theatre, Michaela Butter and John Kirby from Attenborough Arts Centre, Lue Douthit from Play On! Shakespeare, Bill Rauch from Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and audiences at the scratches and previews for supporting the development of the show.

Queer Lady M is supported by

Arts Council EnglandAttenborough ArtsDerby Theatre
Derbyshire LGBTLeicester LGBT CentreQUAD

Queer Lady M

Queer Lady M national tour venues

Copyright © 1623 theatre company, 2020. All rights reserved.
1623 theatre company limited is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 07925024.