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What It Means to open at Wilton’s Music Hall

Erin Croasdale

By Erin Croasdale First Published 4 September 2023, Last Updated 11 October 2023

What It Means, a new play by James Corley, will premiere at Wilton’s Music Hall this autumn. Produced by The Lot Productions and the first show of their inaugural theatre season, What It Means is the true story behind one of the most impactful pieces of writing ever published in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality.

September 1970. A year after the Stonewall Riots, Harper’s Magazine publish the now notorious article ‘Homo/hetero: the struggle for sexual identity’. Acclaimed journalist and former editor of Harper’s Magazine, Merle Miller reads the article from his home in upstate New York and decides to take a stand.

September 1971. Merle sits at his desk and begins to write. Part man, part memory, he invites the audience to join him on an incredible journey of his life from provincial Iowa to the pages of the New York Times.

What It Means is an emotional voyage through history. It highlights the importance of standing up for what you believe in, accepting the validity of one’s own voice and taking a courageous step onto the platform that is offered to you, however long it may take.

The Lot Productions has recieved support from charity Stage One and the production company’s co-founder Nisha Oza says about the investment:

“Stage One’s support has grown as I have grown as a producer. I started my trajectory on their Bridge The Gap programme, with my first independent production World’s End at the King’s Head Theatre being the first recipient of their small-scale investment fund. I am now a trustee for the organisation, and proud to be moving forward working under the ethos of ‘independent producing with an inclusive mindset’ with my company The Lot Productions. My development and courage as a producer is something that would not have been formed without Stage One.”

The charity Stage One has supported theatre producers through educational programmes and investment schemes. Society Of London Theatre, the non-profit organisation that runs Official London Theatre, has been an integral supporter of Stage One since it was established over 40 years ago.

What It Means is directed by The Lot Production’s Creative Director Harry Mackrill and stars Richard Cant as Merle Miller. It opens at Wilton’s Music Hall on 9 October and runs until 28 October.


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