The London Gay Menís Chorus, the award-winning gay choir, takes a bold
artistic step later this July when it presents the premiere of Youíll Do For
Now, a new show specially devised for the chorus, exploring love, sex,
cruising, AIDS, gay rights and what it means to be a gay man in 2005.
Following the lives of four men across the latter half of the 20th Century,
the show uses song, dance, comedy and theatre to examine how todayís social
and sexual freedoms are the result of past battles for gay rights, the
battle against AIDS and our own personal battles to be who we truly are.
Facets of gay life and history including the Wolfenden report, cottaging,
online chat rooms, polari and club culture all come under examination.
Youíll Do For Now was conceived for The London Gay Menís Chorus by
Ping-Kern Ng. It features two original compositions together with well known songs
like Space Oddity and Something Inside So Strong as well music from Stephen Sondheim and Kander & Ebb. Ping has been
talking to OutUK's Mike Gray about the show.
OutUK: What gave you the idea for creating this programme?|
Ping-Kern Ng: I was drawn to the notion of creating a concert that
moved like a musical, being a huge show-queen myself. As far as a topic was concerned, it was going to be a
gay version of Sex & The City, with the four
characters being conveniently represented by the four
voice parts in a choir.
I realised pretty early on
that exaggerating the age differences amongst them
would mean that each would've come out or grown up in
a different 'time' and allow for some sort of
socio-political subtext about how times have changed
for gay men.
OutUK: What have been the particular challenges?
Not being able to tell that story explicitly by having
dialogue and characters and fully-acted scenes!
Everything is meant to be suggested by monologues,
dance and song. Concerts in the main are purely
emotional experiences. My hope with this hybrid is
that it'll also stimulate the intellect by allowing
you to connect the dots.
Creator Ping-Kern Ng.
OutUK: How have your own experiences as a gay man
influenced the piece?
Ping: I've always been single. Half the time I love it, and
half the time, I loathe it. The plethora of choices
that the single gay man in London is faced with to do
with sex and relationships is meant to liberate but
ends up confusing. Reconciling myself to that
confusion, moving ahead with very basic rules about
how you treat your fellow-man
OutUK: ...and your musical background?
Ping: None. I was trained as an architect and have sung a
few times before joining this choir, but thatís it. I
not sure being a show-queen, namedropper and
star-fucker (not literally, I hasten to add) counts as
such, but knowing successful people in show business
and being accepted into their company allowed me to
dream and gave me the confidence to fulfil that dream.
OutUK: There are two original compositions ... tell me
about them ...
Ping: Oneís about AIDS and the otherís about internet
cruising, and there isnít much to add apart from that.
Iím afraid their genesis is based a very prosaic
reasons. I needed a couple of numbers to set up
certain dramatic situations in the piece and there was
nothing available so I thought the easier solution was
to have them written.
OutUK:...and the rest of the programme?
Ping: ...consists of hits from the twentieth century and
should prove tremendously entertaining. Most of the
songs have been rearranged by my talented
partner-in-crime, Simon Sharp, and hopefully, you
wonít ever hear those songs again without associating
them with this show.
||Youíll Do For Now premieres at the Cadogan Hall in London's
Sloane Square on Friday 22nd July at 7.30pm, with further performances on Saturday 23rd
July (7.30pm) and Sunday 24th July (2.30pm). Tickets are now on sale from the Cadogan Hall
box office on 020 7730 4500.|
Congratulations to George of Clerkenwell who won a pair of tickets in this week's