Kate Crutchley Tribute

Our second Ovalhouse event was a tribute evening celebrating the life and work of  Kate Crutchley, Oval House programmer 1981-91 (dubbed ‘Kate’s Great’ by those participating). Around 40 people contributed to the creation of this event which gave an overview of her life and career, focusing especially on her Oval House years. Many companies, groups and individuals lined up to pay tribute including: Karen Parker and Debby Klein (formerly Parker and Klein), Eve Polycarpou and Martha Lewis (Eve and Martha formerly known as Donna and Kebab), Stella Duffy, Sandra Freeman, Sarah McNair, Nicolle Freni, Crin Claxton, Susan (Clark) Hayes, ), Caroline Mylon, Clare Summerskill, Hot Doris Band, Sue Frumin, Adele Salem, Steve Gooch and Alwynne Taylor. Crin Claxton, former Oval House theatre technician, set the lights and Alison Craig oversaw the sound. At four hours long it never palled but did full justice to Kate and her legacy. The evening was rounded off with a speech from her partner Claire Oberman.

The Programme

1. Hot Doris play in with The Rhythm of Life: Sayan Kent, Rebecca Clow, Mandy Short, Katrina Buchanan
2. Unfinished Histories introduction by Susan Croft talking about Kate’s early life and work (including Steve Gooch speaking of Kate in his Female Transport at the Old Half Moon)
3. Compère Clarke Hayes – short talk
4. Bohemian Rhapsody by Sue Frumin, performed by Sue Frumin, Katie Farquhar & Rose Collis
5. Hot DorisSay a Little Prayer For Me
6. Rabbit in a Trap by Sue Frumin, performed by Sue Frumin and Claire Oberman
7. Nicolle Freni to speak about work at Lewisham College and introduce scenes from her play Brooklyn E5, performed by Eve Polycarpou and Deni Francis
8. Psyche by Jude Alderson, performed by Karen Parker
9. Hard Corps: The Rug of Identity by Jill W Fleming, performed by Amanda Wilson and Catti Calthrop
10. Parker & Klein sketches with Debby Klein and Karen Parker: Devilry, The Abandoned Cats (with Catti Calthrop and Sarah McNair of Hard Corps), Coming Out Straight by Debby Klein
11. Hard Corps: John by Adele Salem, performed by Adele Salem and Sarah McNair
12. Hot DorisThere is Nothing Like a Dame


13. Eve Polycarpou & Martha Lewis as Donna and Kebab: Never on a Sunday, Natural Woman
14. Sandra Freeman – talking about writing for Character Ladies
15. Character Ladies set: Supporting Roles by Sandra Freeman, performed by Clarke Hayes and Donna Berwick
16. Jigsaws by Jennifer Rogers, performed by Stella Duffy and Emma Deakin
17. Echo by Susan Hayes, performed by Clarke Hayes and Barcy Cogdale
18. Crin Claxton talking about working with Kate at the Oval with slides
19. Caroline Mylon on her time working with Kate with clips from C4 Gay & Lesbian work
20. Red Rag: The Infamous Life and Crimes of Nell Undermine, performed by Sally Bosley, Winnie Elliott, Carol Noble, Sophie Wellstood
21. Gateway to Heaven by Clare Sumerskill, performed by Clare Summerskill and Alwyne Taylor
22. Brian Astbury message about Kate directing students at Mountview Theatre School
20. Claire Oberman on Kate after Oval House
21. A video clip of Kate Crutchley in a Jingleball, 1978 Gay Sweatshop
22.Those Were The Days – new lyrics by Clare Summerskill. Company and audience singalong led by Eve Polycarpou

Produced collectively with Jessica Higgs, Sarah McNair and Clarke Hayes at the helm

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