• This piece was written over a year ago. It may no longer accurately reflect my views now, or may be factually outdated.

Some time ago I went to watch HIP HIP I’M GAY! with a friend. Ashleigh Owen’s comedy cabaret was being performed as part of the University of Cumbria’s Festival of Mental Health. This was back in July, however, and I’m only just coming to it now, so this won’t be a proper writeup. The show itself was excellent, but I want to record what happened afterwards.

As there were only seven or so of us in the audience, I asked the cast after the show if they wanted to come for a night out to Generation, Lancaster’s gay(ish) club. They said yes and asked where to meet us, as they had to pack away their kit, so we agreed on a location and my friend and I headed off. On the way, she wanted to clarify the situation:

Her: So let me get this straight: a straight guy brought his bi mate to a gay cabaret, then invited all of the cast and crew out to a gay bar?
Me: Correct.

After an hour or so and a few drinks we began to think we’d been stood up. We ordered one last round of drinks and were readying to leave when everyone finally arrived. Far more drinks later and we were in Generation, where the thespians rather showed up the Lancastrians on the dance floor. The night culminated in us stood outside the club at 3am, having been shooed out after it closed, where a man with a loudspeaker on the other side of the road was preaching gospel at the club. Some people heckled him, but our new theatre pals instead decided to kick off a flashdance in the centre of the road.

Meanwhile, bouncers came running into the club from nearby venues. Out came a large, drunk man, surrounded by around seven securiy staff. There was a bit of back and forth, and then he went to bite one of them. Cue him being piled on and the police being called. They came, arrested the man and put him in the back of the van…which couldn’t get out because of all of the dancing in the road.

So, in short, it was a memorable night, and I think I got my friend a job in theatre out of it.


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