World-class artist and LGBT+ activist Rikki Beadle-Blair is 1623 theatre's new patron

Wednesday October 17th, 2018

1623 is thrilled to announce that Rikki Beadle-Blair joins Mark Ravenhill and Dame Janet Suzman as another world-class artist who embodies and reflects what the company is all about.

Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE is a writer, director, composer, choreographer, designer, producer and performer. He has won several awards including the Sony Award, the Los Angeles Outfest Screenwriting and Outstanding Achievement awards.

1623 first met him at Rose Bruford College in 2012, when the company ran workshops alongside him for members of the National Youth Theatre to prepare them for their performances at the National Theatre's Watch This Space Festival.

Since then, 1623 has followed Rikki's work with great interest as he's travelled all over the world to create fantastic new work, support emerging artists and champion self-care as an inspirational love ninja.

It was at Nottingham Playhouse, where Rikki hosted the Theatre Pride scratch night this summer, that 1623 met up with him again. The company were trying out part of their upcoming show Queer Lady M and Rikki was blown away by the performance.

He says: "Ask anyone in the street who the great playwright is and they always say Shakespeare. Ask them to come and see one of his plays right now and they're horrified.

"But 1623 is making Shakespeare thrilling and relevant again, after seeing them burn down the Nottingham Playhouse with their stunning Queer Lady M, I practically begged to be a patron. They have restored my faith in the power of the people's playwright."

Rikki's past projects include several feature films and TV series, including the American feature Blackbird starring Oscar-winning actor Mo’nique, Stonewall for Killer Films New York and BBC Films, Metrosexuality for Channel 4, Noah’s Arc for MTV as well as FIT, KickOff and Bashment for his own company Team Angelica. He is one of the creative directors of the Visionary Youth Project for young European Film Activists.

Ben Spiller, 1623 artistic director, says: "Having Rikki as our new patron is an absolute thrill. He is one of the most inspirational people I've met.

"His boundless dedication to new work, equality and empowering people to find their creativity chimes perfectly with the core aims of 1623 to make great theatre, support artists, inspire learners, engage communities and champion diversity."

Rikki works extensively in theatre and has written 28 plays in the last decade, including the recent groundbreaking Summer In London written for an all-trans cast of performers.

His plays have been performed at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Bush Theatre, Soho Theatre, Tristan Bates Theatre, and Contact Theatre in Manchester. Rikki is a committed mentor to a great many writers, actors, composers and directors around the world.

Online version of this release, with photos, is at

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