Nisha Oza for The Lot Productions today announces the world première of What It Means, a new play by James Corley – the first show for the newly founded production company as part of their inaugural theatre season.
Directed by The Lot’s Creative Director, Harry Mackrill, the production, starring Richard Cant, opens at Wilton’s Music Hall on 9 October, with previews from 4 October, and runs until 28 October.
What It Means is an adaptation of Merle Miller’s seminal essay What It Means to be a Homosexual. Printed in 1971 in the New York Times and published as On Being Different by Penguin. This act of bravery and quiet protest has become a defining part of the LGBTQ+ rights movement as we know it today. An emotional, one-person voyage through history – some personal, some not – What It Means speaks directly to audiences about the importance of standing up for what you believe in, accepting the validity of one’s own voice and taking a courageous step onto the platform that is offered to you.
Harry Mackrill, Co-founder and Creative Director of The Lot Productions said today: ‘Fifteen years ago, On Being Different changed my life. It was the first time I saw myself without shame and self-hatred. What It Means is a project that means, like Merle, I have to stand up and be counted. This production will allow audiences to understand Merle’s courage, celebrate the freedoms we have today and inspire them to go out into the world and be the change they want to see.”
Nisha Oza added, “We started developing our inaugural season in 2019, after commissioning the adaptation for What It Means under a newly formed vision of Independent Producing with an Inclusive Mindset.
“We understand the creative power of new voices and platforming new plays to large audiences. As a result, for our ADAPT season – launched with What It Means- we unite three emerging writers with three internationally renowned texts. This develops exciting new voices whilst offering audiences a known quantity – welcoming with the known and sustaining with the new.
“New Writing is Theatre. It is the backbone of our industry and the centre of the art form. We are driven by a strong belief in the marriage of subsidised new writing development and high-quality independent output – embracing a necessary hybrid to champion new work in a post-pandemic landscape.”
Through support from Stage One, Arts Council England and MGCfutures, Oza and Mackrill were able to secure the rights and develop adaptations of work, which forms their first season: ADAPT, which alongside What It Means, includes adaptations of Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi (adapted by Carmen Nasr) and The Housing Lark by Sam Selvon (adapted by Ayesha Antoine). Further information on the season programming will be announced at a later date.