The National Trust and The National Archives have recreated an iconic LGBTQ+ venue in London’s Soho for Queer City, an event commemorating 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.
The Caravan existed at a time when being openly gay led to persecution and imprisonment, and was raided and closed by police in 1934. The immersive space has been recreated using photographs, court reports, police papers and witness statements from the time, on almost exactly the same site at the Freud Cafe-bar on Shaftesbury Avenue.
A programme of performances has been curated for the space by O’Neill/Ross, who worked on production and design for Secret Cinema from 2008-2013, and Ralph Bogard, who created The Prince Charles cinema’s LGBTQ+ Unicorn Nights series. They will reimagine what might have happened at the illicit club, with a line-up including Lili La Scala, Dusty Limits, Christopher Green and Tricity Vogue. It will also serve cocktails drawn from 1930s-era Soho clubs.
Queer City is one of the National Trust’s year-long Prejudice and Pride programme of events, telling “the stories of men and women who challenged conventional notions of gender and sexuality and who shaped the properties in which they lived.”
See here for more about tours and events.