Performance piece unearths LGBT ghosts

A new show exploring persecution of gay men will debut this September in Bristol. A Haunted Existence runs from 13-23 September in the cells beneath Bristol’s Old Police Station.

The performance, created by Tom Marshman with the help of historian Jeanie Sinclair, tells the stories of men in the area whose sexuality was criminalised during the 1950s. In particular, it centres on Geoffrey Patrick Williamson, who was arrested on a train in the 1954 and under questioning gave the names of other gay men he had had relationships with.

Said Marshman: “We have been working out what happened to all of the men through looking a records on ancestry and various archives, there are lots of stories and although it is heavy stuff there is also lot of happy endings in some ways. All of these stories have really got under my skin.”

Added Sinclair: “This has been such an exciting project to work on. Ordinary people have extraordinary stories, and it’s been a fascinating journey that has taken us to places that we hadn’t expected.”

Tickets for A Haunted Existence, which combines projection, performance and vinyl records, can be found online.

tommarshman.com | watershed.co.uk

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