It’s no longer illegal to be gay in the army – it is to be homophobic!  Come Out Fighting, a new play by Cornwall-based What Now Productions, tours Devon and Cornwall before heading to London for a week at The Drayton Arms Theatre.

 Inspired by Merimée & Bizet’s immortal Carmen the play follows Corporal Joe Donaldson, whose suppressed sexuality finds vent only in violence, honed by his military training. 

But then he meets Carl and, infatuated and confused, is propelled headlong into the world of a celebrity boxer. Come Out Fighting is a love story exploring male sexuality and its testosterone-driven links with aggression and violence.

 Coinciding with the release of a government report into the experience of LGBT+ Veterans, the play explores some dark and difficult topics including abuse and trauma.

Writer and director Nick Bamford, said: “This is my latest contemporary adaptation of an iconic operatic love story.

“My intention is to demonstrate that gay relationships can be just as romantic, passionate and complex as straight ones, but they tend to operate differently.  Violent experiences in childhood, and in the army can make them challenging,”

 Craig Jones, M.B.E, who runs Fighting with Pride - an organisation supporting LGBT+ soldiers, says of the play “…the circumstances of serving in the armed forces, I know from my own experience, are unique for LGBT+ people.  And this play shines a spotlight upon those circumstances in a terrific way. What Now Productions is a new, Cornwall-based theatre company set up by writer/director Nick Bamford and his partner writer/actor Richard Curnow to develop, produce and perform their new writing. There is clearly an appetite for the work - the company had a fantastic response to their crowdfunding campaign and have raised funds from The Arts Council England and FEAST Cornwall to create the play.

 “The tour starts in Cornwall and Devon this September before heading to The Drayton Arms  for a week in October. On finally getting the show in front of audience Nick says “I’m so pleased finally to be able to bring this play to the stage.  You may have seen Carmen before – but never like this! ”

Tour dates: 

Thursday, September 28 and  Friday,September 29 - 8.00pm - The Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington

 Saturday, September 30 – 7.00pm - Exeter Phoenix

 Thursday, October 5 – 7.30pm - Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro

 Friday, September 6 and Saturday, October 7 – 7.30pm - STERTS, Liskeard

 Sunday, October 8 – 7.30pm - St Just Old Town Hall

 Saturday, October 14 – 7.30pm - St Austell Arts Theatre

 Sunday, October 15 – 7.30pm - The Acorn

 Tuesda, September 17 - Saturday, October 21 – 7.30pm + Saturday matinée 3.00pm - Drayton Arms Theatre