Focus on: The Queer House

Yasmin Zadeh and Charlotte Boden tell Laura Kressly how The Queer House's 'Get in the House' night helped artists develop two new Fringe shows

feature (edinburgh) | Read in About 3 minutes
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The Queer House by Bronwen Sharp
Photo by Bronwen Sharp
Published 21 Jul 2019

"I cringe at the term 'talent agency'," says Yasmin Zadeh.

It makes sense: The Queer House is not like conventional talent agencies. Rather than expecting their artists to rely on them for work, they actively encourage people to make their own.

"We started a night called 'Get in the House' where artists share work they made themselves or are otherwise working on. We then matchmake them with people in the industry who might be able to get them more opportunities. It's like a launchpad for queer artists," says Zadeh.

What's even more unusual is that The Queer House produces shows that their artists make and, teaming up with HighTide, two such shows now arrive in Edinburgh.

Teddy Lamb and Mika Johnson are The Queer House artists and theatremakers who created Since U Been Gone and Pink Lemonade, both resulting from 'Get in the House'. "Teddy and Mika came through our first one last year. We thought they were sick ideas, so we used the support we've got to make them into fully-realised shows."

Charlotte Boden explains how the agency got into producing, or rather, how as producers they started an agency. "Our background is producing. We're not former agent's assistants who set up our own agency, we're producers who realised there were amazing people we could help get agents then thought, 'why don't we do that?'."

It's certainly paid off. "A lot of our actors have had amazing meetings," says Zadeh. "We're also realising that one of the agency's purposes is to help others understand representation, identity, and what is classed as offensive or a safe space."

This is needed considering the homophobic and transphobic hate crime in recent news. Boden is coming to Edinburgh fully prepared. "We know our artists might face hate crime on the street. We have to protect them, like making sure we all flyer together, and no one is on their own. It's disgusting that we have to think about that, but those are the measures that are necessary."

They aren't letting it get them down though. "These shows are going to be a lot of fun, and are a great way to see the queer experience through comedy. A lot of people can get confused by queer identity but if you spend an hour with Mika and Teddy, you're going to fall in love with them, and the queer experience will be broken down in a way that you've never seen before."