Props, costumes and artwork from the ground-breaking theatrical production Outlaws to In-laws will be donated to Islington Museum in 2018 as part of a new exhibition called Islington’s Pride.
The exhibition will examine Islington’s LGBT+ heritage through the organisations, people and places where history was made, ultimately forming a permanent LGBT+ archive. It includes the collage screen World of Cats (1966) by Kenneth Halliwell, which was purchased with the help of the Art Fund and private donations.
Part celebration, part social record, Outlaws to In-laws followed the struggles and joys of gay men from the partial legalisation of homosexuality in 1967 to the advent of equal marriage today.
Told in seven short plays with an ensemble cast, the show was supported by Bruno Wang Productions and ran for a limited season at the King’s Head Theatre, Islington.
The plays were written by leading gay playwrights Philip Meeks, Jonathan Harvey, Jonathan Kemp, Patrick Wilde, Matt Harris, Topher Campbell and Joshua Val Martin as a reminder of the need to cherish and celebrate the gains gay men have made and the work that still needs to be done to achieve true equality for all in the UK.
Broadway World UK called it “a powerful, important look at queer history”, while Live Theatre UK praised it as “a major achievement; this is the kind of theatre that has the capacity to inspire and change lives”.
Islington Pride is not the only organisation to benefit from the work behind Outlaws to In-laws because the production was recorded and a copy will be placed in the V&A Theatre and Performance Collections archive in late January 2018. This holds important material such as the papers of actor Sir Ian McKellen (1967-2007) and the archive of the Young Vic Theatre Company (1970-2005).