Gypsy Queen at Hope Mill Theatre

Andrew Anderson
© Hope Theatre Company

Gypsy Queen at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester, 25–30 September 2017, from £10.00 - Book now

Depending on which statistic you read, roughly 2-5% of the UK’s population identify as gay. But how many openly gay athletes are there – can you name any?

The problem of homosexuality being closeted in sport is one that has been around for a long time, and doesn’t look like going away anytime soon. Take the Premier League, the world’s richest football competition. It has around 1,000 footballers in its teams, but not a single one of them is ‘out’.

Why? That’s the question actor and playwright Rob Ward wants to find answers to. In Gypsy Queen he uses boxing – perhaps the sport most plagued with false ideas about what it means to be a ‘real man’ – as the base for his exploration, following the story of two athletes coping with the backlash that being gay can bring.

The play, which has already toured the UK including a stint at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, starts slowly, but builds round by round into a thrilling encounter. Ward is excellent as Gorgeous George O’Connell, a bare-knuckle fighter looking to turn pro ­– he’s engaging, funny and threatening. His developing love for fellow boxer Dane Samson (played by Ryan Clayton) warms your heart, until a stiff uppercut to the guts reminds you that in boxing it’s not okay to be gay.

Ward has carved out a niche for himself in this subject – his previous work Away From Home focussed on a gay footballer and was one of the highlights of the 24:7 Theatre Festival in 2013. It remains a topic that is fascinating yet sad, and one only hopes that societal norms around gays in sports change soon – with pieces like this playing a small part in the process.

Gypsy Queen at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

25–30 September 2017
From £10.00

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Activity Until 30 September 2022, from £25.00

Canoeing and Kayaking on the Mersey

Gecko: Kin at HOME
Theatre Until 1 October 2022, from £10.00

Gecko: Kin at HOME

Families Until 1 October 2022, from £13.00

Mrs Doubtfire at Manchester Opera House

MFDF 2022
Festivals Until 2 October 2022,

Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2022

Cinema Until 3 October 2022, from £9.95

Not Just Bollywood at HOME

Music Until 5 October 2022, from £5.50

Sounds of Nature at The Stoller Hall

The Glass Menagerie at the Royal Exchange
Theatre Until 8 October 2022, from £10.00

The Glass Menagerie at the Royal Exchange

Electric Gamebox at the arndale
Childrens Until 22 October 2022, from £5.00

Electric Gamebox at The Arndale

Victoria Baths Guided Tour
Activity Until 26 October 2022, from £6

Victoria Baths Guided Tour

Illustration entitled ‘Because you cannot tame something so happily wild’ by Emily Hughes showing painted animals in a woodland setting
Exhibitions Until 30 October 2022, FREE

Picture This at The Lowry

vegan super club
Activity Until 25 November 2022, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School