Raising the Wreck

Company Name: Gay Sweatshop Theatre Company
Writer: Sue Frumin
Director: Paddi Taylor
Cast: Bernadine Evaristo, Hazel Maycock, Sara Ridd, Denise Thompson, Marjolein de Vries
Designer: Kate Owen
Year: 1985

In 1985, Gay Sweatshop commissioned Sue Frumin to write Raising the Wreck. The play is set in a sunken galleon where four long dead women seafarers tell a modern woman about their experience. The performers were all female, and for the first time in the companies history the play had a multi-racial cast.

During the 1980s inner city deprivation and racial tension led to race riots across many major cities in England. Within the arts there was little representation of Black or ethnic minorities. As homosexuality was unacceptable in many Black communities, the double stigma of being Black and homosexual kept these minorities hidden for longer. Up until this point there had been little contributions from Black gay men or lesbians in the company. The play marked a major contribution to queer and Black European history.

Back to Gay Sweatshop