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78ers legends bring the untold story of homosexual rights activists to the stage

December 14, 2022

Australia’s pioneer homosexual rights activists are bringing their story to the stage during Sydney WorldPride next year with new play, CAMP.

78ers legends Robyn Kennedy and Robyn Plaister published their book CAMP: Australia’s pioneer homosexual rights activists earlier this year and commissioned Elias Jamieson Brown to write the play drawing on the inspiring stories of former CAMP activists captured in the book.

Playing at the Seymour Centre from 15 February to 4 March 2023, CAMP welcomes audiences to the punk lands of the 1970s and the birth of Australia’s fierce gay rights movement, chronicling the struggles, successes, and legacy of early Pride activists who risked family, careers, and imprisonment to achieve social change in Australia.

“The stories told in the play are about the lives of our community elders – as they lived them in the pioneer days of our movement,” said Robyn Kennedy.

CAMP focuses on the role of women in the Pride movement as women did a lot of behind the scenes work in organisations while simultaneously educating men about the links between homophobia and feminism.

“Women have been all but absent in published records of Pride history in Australia, which have invariably been told from a male perspective,” explained Robyn.

“It was lesbians who were in the vanguard of the women’s movement, who nursed gay men in the AIDS ward at St Vincent’s Hospital and set up women’s refuges and rape crisis centres. It was lesbians who led the charge at the first Mardi Gras and who were targeted by Police,” she concluded.

CAMP aims to close the gap in knowledge about the experiences of lesbians and how these shaped the development of the Pride movement in Australia.

Director Kate Gaul is leading an incredible team of artists to bring this untold story to the stage and guarantees audiences will be enthralled by the play.

“CAMP is a story of murder, corruption, love and liberation where past and present collide in a dramatised retelling of the 1970s events which lead to the 1978 Mardi Gras.

“We are expecting a huge response as CAMP’s season coincides with Sydney WorldPride so the story will resonate with a lot of people,” explained Kate.

The production of CAMP has been sponsored by Sydney WorldPride 2023, Qtopia Sydney, Create NSW, City of Sydney, LOTL and Star Observer.

Qtopia Sydney CEO, Greg Fisher, said their organisation is proud to be sponsoring CAMP and urges other individuals and organisations to do the same.

“As an organisation dedicated to sharing the history, culture and experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community in Australia, Qtopia Sydney is proud to be sponsoring CAMP for the messages and stories it disseminates so brilliantly,” Greg explained.
“I encourage everyone to support this play by either buying a ticket, making a donation or considering a sponsorship,” he concluded.

Tickets to CAMP are available now from $36 via the website Anyone interested in supporting CAMP can do so by becoming a sponsor or making a tax-deductible donation via Siren Theatre’s website

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