Vanessa Thorpe

A gay man and several lesbians walked into a bar…

…or, to be precise, the Green Room diner at the National Theatre on London’s South Bank.

National Theatre ready for Shame

It was late afternoon on Friday 5 July 2019, the day before the city’s main Pride event. Earlier the same day, the National Theatre (NT) Twitter account had announced they were ready for the weekend and posted a photo of the theatre decked in the rainbow flag. Another rainbow flag hung behind the bar of the Green Room.

A group of people – mainly women – had spent the day protesting outside Stonewall’s Children and Young People conference, a few minutes’ walk away. At the end of the afternoon, they took pics of themselves outside the Hayward Gallery, in front of posters promoting some creepy exhibition. Then some of them went on to the Green Room, others went to a nearby food fair and got a bite to eat there, while a few others took the huge placards they’d held at the protest back to the vehicle they were using. They all eventually went on to meet up at the Green Room.

Those who’d gone straight to the Green Room had bought drinks and were sitting outside in the sunshine by the time the others arrived. Of the later arrivals, only a man in the group got served. It seems a member of staff took exception to the women, some of whom were wearing lesbian T-shirts. They were refused service.

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