Listen again: 15 September 2015

Francesca Jackson and Alison Arnopp in Dusty (photo: Elliott Franks)

Rosie speaks to Annabel Pemberton, a member of the cast of the latest Above the Stag production The Sum of Us. The Aussie comedy drama focuses on the relationship between a father and his gay son and was made into a film in 1994 starring Russell Crowe. This new production, directed by Gene David Kirk, runs until 4 October. Annabel lived in Australia during the 80s, when the production is set, and remembers how the TV campaign to raise awareness around AIDS made people incredibly fearful of homosexuality.

DJ and writer Stewart Who interviews cabaret star Jonny Woo about his full band show Transformer which has transferred from an acclaimed run at Edinburgh Fringe to Soho Theatre from 15 – 19 September. Woo brings Lou Reed’s iconic album to life with tales of the 70s New York underground. Stewart describes it as a ‘classic opus of queerness, poly drug use, neon-lit madness, trans romance and rock and roll sleaze’.

We also hear from writer Elliott Kerrigan over the phone from his home in Northumberland. He was the winner of the BBC Writersroom Trans Comedy Award which resulted in his first TV commission – the current BBC Two series Boy Meets Girl. He explains that he saw the call out just as he’d lost his job and was desperate for something to do. He didn’t know anyone trans so didn’t think he stood a chance. But he went to bed and by the morning had dreamt up the first page of the script. It seemed like a sign that he should continue.

Duncan Sibbald is the producer and co-writer of Dusty, a new musical about the iconic 60s superstar, currently on at Charing Cross Theatre until 21 November. They discuss Dusty’s legacy and influence on many contemporary artists, her perfectionism, her doomed lesbian relationships and her mental health. He also chats about his other projects, including a play he wrote, produced and co-directed at Brighton Fringe 2011. Entitled Keep Taking the Tablets, it concerned his life coping with his mother’s mental illness.

For rights reasons the music is not on the podcast, but here’s what we played on the live show:

1) Sarah MacDougall: Grand Canyon from the album Grand Canyon
2) Jonny Woo: Walk on the Wildside
3) Dusty Springfield: I Only Wanna Be With You from the album Just Dusty
4) Benjamin Speed: Hello Goodbye from the soundtrack of 52 Tuesdays 

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