The year 2015-2016 was a big year for me, coming to Edinburgh after working in the Middle East for several years. One of the first things I did was visit the Festival Theatre, where I fell in love with modern dance (I hate dancing, so don’t switch off if you are also not a dancer). Although I intend to continue visiting the Festival, I will also be trying out other venues, for modern dance, drama, ballet and opera.
Sod's Law (Edinburgh Festival)
A posh young aristo, singing lectures about fisting and 'man twats,' Sod's Law is a rather wonderful exploration of the history of homosexuality from the time of Henry VIII to the 21st century. From the court of the English Tudor monarch through Molly Houses and Oscar Wilde, we get observations on various legislations banning sodomy, as well as police reports of the period in fruity song, with a musical tribute to cottaging and police harassment called 'The Lavatory Blues.'
There were moments that I also found poignant, particularly when the performer recounted the Stonewall Riots and the first burst of anger, from trans female Marsha P. Johnson. With the performer in gentle falsetto, a beautiful medley followed, conjuring a string of iconic gay disco hits to the accompaniment of a small guitar: Donna Summer's I Feel Love, Village People's YMCA, Boney M's Ra Ra Rasputin blending with famous tunes by Jimmy Somerville. Further enlightenment followed: we learned about the rather complex Hanky Code that became a popular code for gay men to show their preferences, and then a first class impression of Margaret Thatcher and Section 28. Cue the song that always gets me: a somber piano version of The Pet Shop Boys' It's a Sin.
With the performer, the rather dashing and youthful 'Lord' Hicks, maintaining an aristocratic manner throughout, this was a weird and wonderful mash-up, of LGBT moments in history made fun and serious all at once. For those wishing to know their Pride history, or the significance of the Twinky to gay parlance, I recommend this thoughtfully constructed, uplifting celebration of the LGBT world.