Jingleball

Company Name: Gay Sweatshop Theatre Company

Jingleball at the ICA
Devised by:
Gerald Chapman and Kate Crutchley
Music:
Tom Robinson and Alex Harding
Director:
Michael Richmond
Cast:
Kate Crutchley, Bob Stratton, Julie Parker, Nancy Diuguid, Gordon MacDonald, Drew Griffiths, Helen Barnaby, Sara Hardy
Venue: ICA
Year: 1976

Jingleball at Oval House
Devised by the company
Cast: Drew Griffiths, Gordon MacDonald, Jill Posener, Kate Crutchley, Bob Stratton, Elizabeth Lindsay, Sandra Leicester, Stephanie Pugsley
Musicians:
Alex Harding, Angela Stewart Park
Venue:
Oval House 
Year: 
1978

In December 1976, the company celebrated a successful year with their Christmas show Jingleball. Jingleball was a feminist pantomime loosely based on Cinderella. Similar to a traditional panto, the men played the Ugly Sisters and the women played Cinderella and her Prince. The camp tradition was played to full affect, with anti-women and anti-gay jokes as part of the panto banter. Although in this production the Prince was a Princess, the love story was a lesbian romance.

Jingleball was presented at the ICA in 1976 and Jingleball  at Gay Pride Week at the Oval House in August 1978

‘We did Jingleball 1 and Jingleball 2 which was when Gay Sweatshop went off, when the women and the men were off on tour to do Any Woman Can. It left Kate and me and Gerald Chapman back in London with everybody else gone, so we decided that we could do something, and I stupidly decided that they could act it and I could direct it, and learnt that I couldn’t. We got to the opening day and went ‘Oops there’s no set, how did that happen?’ We called it Jingleball 1, that was Jingleball 1, but it was a very experimental piece, it was still on at the ICA. People would come and some people enjoyed it, and we’d got various other writers who’d been involved with Gay Sweatshop before to write some stuff. … We were there holding the fort, people still wanted some identity in the city, a place to come to feel that they could…[have a gay base]. The ICA were very willing to have us on there, I think it was a Lunchtime theatre piece. And then when they came back they decided to have the pantomime and that was Jingleball 2 and that was a big Christmas Pantomime – the Ugly Sisters, Prince Charming, it was the whole thing of gay politics, very camp. Very popular.’ Mary Moore interview

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