The living room theatre project was initially founded by Ernst Fischer and a group of six other gay men in 1986 with a series of movement workshops and four performances at 148 Mayall Road, as part of a South London Gay and Lesbian Arts Festival (OUT IN LAMBETH).
In 1990, after a break of several years, BRIXTON heART ROOM was formed as a non-profit making loose association of neighbours, friends and local artists. In the period from Dec. 1990 – Dec. 1991 there have been three productions, all at the above address, covering a large range of styles and content and involving artists from widely differing backgrounds. In 1992 the group is aiming for greater public awareness with increased publicity and outreach work, including performances in other non-conventional performance spaces.
BRIXTON heART ROOM Living Room Theatre Project intends to:
♥ make the familiar unfamiliar
♥ remove the dichotomy between (private) living and (public) performance spaces and to challenge received notions of what theatre is
♥ explore, through performance, the cultural diversity of the community
♥ create an informal and intimate atmosphere in which experienced and inexperienced performers as well as artists from other disciplines can meet, share their work and make personal contact with their audiences
♥ encourage new audiences for experimental work and to stimulate the formation of other private/living room theatre projects
Performers are mainly recruited locally and new pieces are devised over several weeks through improvisation and discussion.
An aspect of major importance is the provision of support, opportunity and of facilities for vocational and non-vocational performers to explore their creativity and to gain confidence in themselves as artists.
As intended, 1992 saw the gradual extension of BRIXTON heART ROOM’s activities to include other non-conventional performance spaces.
Claudia Prietzel’s film MY LIVING ROOM IS A THEATRE had its world premier at BRIXTON heART ROOM in September to an overwhelmingly warm reception. It was subsequently shown in Ireland, at the CORK LESBIAN AND GAY FILM FESTIVAL, where it was voted ‘Favourite Film of the Festival’ by the viewers, and at LONDON LESBIAN AND GAY FILM FESTIVAL in March 1993, from where it went on tour to similar festivals in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Andreas Demetriou’s evening of Cypriot and Greek songs, SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH, in April 1992, transferred two months later – bags of soil, candles, pallets and all – to the house of two of our guests, Valerie and Terry Vaughan in Blackheath, London.
Adapted excerpts of the piece had previously been performed as part of Gay Sweatshop’s ONE NIGHT STANDS series on November 1, 1992 and also formed part of a performance to celebrate the opening of an exhibition on the history of the legislation of Homosexuality, in Munich, May 1993.
The event in Munich, at which Andreas Demetriou and Ernst Fischer performed in 1993, was of course concerned with German legislation of Homosexuality.