A new play, at Deptford Heritage festival, tells the story of how the LGBTQ and civil rights movement was established in 1930s Britain, writes Laura Burgoine…

Based on historical sources, Liberty follows activist Kath Duncan, whose two jail terms laid the groundwork for the National Council Civil Liberties (now known as Liberty) and the freedoms we all enjoy today.

Red Blouse Theatre, a local radical theatre company first formed in the 1930s and newly re-formed for the festival. Directed by acclaimed Scottish director Karen Douglas, the cast of Liberty includes Emily Carding, who plays Kath Duncan and Celebrity Big Brother winner Alex Reid playing Fred Copeman. Although it is not a musical, the play contains several songs, one of which, Forbidden Love, is a duet between the two gay characters in the play whose sentencing to a fifth jail term for a total of 12 years just for looking gay led to the events portrayed in the play.

Liberty is the first play to be staged in the UK using social media in real time as part of the performance.

Liberty runs from February 14-28 with a celebrity charity gala opening night Valentine’s Day, which will see the largest UK gathering of LGBTQ and Civil Rights activists especially women in the country to remember and celebrate in year 100 years of Women Activism.

The 3rd International Deptford Heritage Festival is London’s largest heritage festival, running from February 1-28, which includes the global #LGBTQ History Month.

The festival brings together the country’s leading experts on people such as Lord Nelson, Christopher Marlowe, Peter the Great, the MacMillan sisters, Kath Duncan, and Olaudan Equiano, whose lives in Deptford have not just shaped the history of Deptford but of the whole world.

Local schools, community groups, choirs, artists, writers, performers, poets, musicians, historians, and local residents of all ages and diversity are uniting to celebrate community and working class history.

Tickets for #Liberty cost £15
and give free access to all other festival events except for the History Tour Bus.
Tickets to the opening night celebrity gala on 14 February cost £25.