Basement Theatre Studio, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

16/04/2013 - 25/04/2013

Production Details

Queen is a scream. Queen is a sass. Queen is a laugh. Queen is a cry. 

Queen is a voice. 

Smoke Labours Productions is proud to present this new play by Sam Brooks that puts the everyday plights of the gay man under the spotlight and explores the contradictions, difficulties and joys of being a young gay man in today’s society. Queen is all the parts of being gay that people don’t talk about: the community, the everyday mundanities and missing out on vital parts of life that come so easily to everybody else. 

Queen is a voice where there needs to be one. It’s angry, it’s funny, it’s unflinching and it gets to what it means to be gay here and now.  

Written by Sam Brooks (Playmarket’s Playwrights b4 25 2012 winner, Shortlisted for Playmarket’s ADAM NZ Play Award 2013). starring Cole Jenkins (One by One), Tarquinn Kennedy (Course Related Costs), Morgan Albrecht (Punk Rock) and Luke Wilson(Wild Beasts, Mab’s Room) Directed by Jacinta Scadden (Mab’s Room, Norma Strong)

16-25 April, 7PM
The Basement Studio
$15/$10 booking fees apply

Morgan Albrecht
Samuel Christopher
Cole Jenkins
Luke Wilson

Writer – Sam Brooks
Director – Jacinta Scadden
Producer – Lucy Campagnolo
Stage Manager – Amber Molloy
Lighting Design – Amber Molloy
LX/Sound Op – Jesse Watts  

Gay-up Storytelling

Review by James Wenley 18th Apr 2013

I got home from seeing Queen at the Basement Studio in time to catch Green MP Kevin Hague’s speech on Parliament TV. A powerful oration, it was poignant not only for the expression of his own personal experience, but the reading from submitters’ comments about their experiences too. In the third reading, politicians like Ruth Dyson and Nikki Kaye also spoke of the “powerful stories” that had been told by LGBT New Zealanders as the bill made its gay way through parliament. Today, the majority of New Zealanders are basking in the feel-good idealism of marriage equality. “Welcome to the mainstream” extended National’s Tau Henare.

Queen by playwright Sam Brooks, which examines the gay experience, could not have had a better programmed season.

By placing the play in the context of the marriage equality debate, I do not mean to suggest that Brooks is flying a political flag. Nor is it preachy. Nor does the marriage question play into its drama. It’s political only in that the play presents stories, and says these stories matter. [More]  


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“I am Queen, and I am here.”

Review by Johnny Givins 18th Apr 2013

Last night the GBLT community celebrated the passing of the Marriage Bill.  It was the culmination of over 30 years struggle for equality for the community.  The law now fully recognises that any discrimination against gays and lesbians is no longer legal. What a triumph for equality presented with passion, eloquence, and understanding in our parliament. 

At the same time a group of young actors were telling the real story of what it is like to grow up gay in a this new world.  It’s now about the law.  It’s about what it feels like to be gay from aged 9. 

We have seen many shows which explore the interior of the coming out, living as a queer and the drama of the unique situations of this new gay life.  We have award-winning dramas which have opened the hearts of the world to the complex reality, tragedy and humour of the adult queer world. 

QUEEN explores quite a different world: the world of the gay teenager coming out.  It is a documentary drama.  Three young men on three separate stages tell monologue stories about real gay experiences.  A young woman is added to the mix for a different perspective but it is the boys’ stories which grip the audience.

There are some wonderful unique stories: falling in love and kissing my first boy at 10; making love to the captain of the first 15 at school; getting laid by my drum teacher at 16; the overwhelming feeling that “I am shit at being Gay”. 

Writer Sam Brooks explores the real, fearful and terrifying world of the Baby Gay: the lack of true role models and practical knowledge, the fear of being laughed at in public.  It is the half life that young gay men must live as they come to terms with being a gay.  He touches on suicide, gay clubbing, the pathetic humour of real life, the sadness of being different. 

It’s not a ‘play’ as there is little interaction. It’s a series of well performed stories.  Samuel Christopher, Cole Jenkins and Luke Wilson are all serious actors developing their craft and their work is excellent.  Director Jacinta Scadden, a recent graduate of Unitech’s directing course, has kept them on a knife edge of being ‘Real and Truthful’, resisting the temptation to either camp it up or play for laughs. 

For my tastes, Queen could do with a bit more theatricality with just a touch of stand up technique to sell the stories with more power.  The actors are totally believable and I am sure, during the short season, will find moments to add a dash more of ‘entertainment’ to the performance, letting the audience relish the moments with them.

The law deals with the ‘legal’ gay world.  Being Gay under-18 is a hidden world. QUEEN opens the door.  They are the future gay community, and they declare, “I am Queen, and I am here.” 


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