Gateway to Heaven Clare Summerskill Croydon

Croydon Year of Culture: Don't miss the chance to see Clare in South London!
image of street entrance to gateway club

Join Clare Summerskill  who is sharing her performance Gateway to Heaven, based on collected memories of the Gateway club. 40 mins plus 15 discussion/Q&A. FREE for #LGBTQHM.

Venue is beautiful renovated art Deco building Electric House, home to the LSBU campus (accessible) and close to East Croydon with great fast links to Victoria, London Bridge, Kings Cross Thameslink. 4 minute walk downhill towards town centre from station and turn right onto Wellesley Road and it is right there with easy to spot window dressings for the LSBU campus. 

All genders, sexualities, ages welcome.

Social time with free tea/coffee from 5.30 pm and talk starts promptly at 6.45. Due to disturbance in small auditorium, and security at the venue, no late admittance is possible.

Fundraising: An outgoing collection to help LGBT refugees will be offered. If you cannot afford to contribute, please don’t let it stop you attending if you would enjoy the event.  

Access notes: Please notify in advance for wheelchair access (side entrance), once in lifts available and doors are powered. 

This event is brought to you by Creative Croydon CIC in partnership with Croydon Queer Choir.

Project notes


Creating Artistic Projects from Interviews with older LGBT people


                        A Presentational Talk by Dr CLARE SUMMERSKILL

Clare Summerskill wrote and produced a play called Gateway to Heaven based entirely on older LGBT people’s memories which, with Arts Council funding, toured twice to theatres around the UK. It was then made into a film version for Age Concern (now Age UK). After The London Metropolitan Police saw the film, they commissioned Clare to make another film made in the same way from interviews, about the relationship over the last 70 years or so between the police and older LGBT people. This film was called Queens’ Evidence and is still used by The Met as a training resource. Clare has since worked on several other theatre projects with older LGBT people including a production, Staying Out Late, which was created from a series of drama workshops resulting in a performance, addressing the issues of older people being gay and in care. In her talk, Clare will be speaking about these projects and she will also present deeply moving and occasionally hilarious extracts from interviewees’ oral histories.

The talk lasts approximately 40 mins and can be followed by a Q&A session.

Clare attained her doctorate in verbatim theatre at Royal Holloway University of London. Over recent years, she has worked for the London Metropolitan Archives, collecting fifty LGBTQ oral histories and she co-founded the LGBTQ Special Interest Group in the UK Oral History Society. Her publications include: Fifty Years of Lesbian and Gay Oral History (Tollington Press, 2012); Creating Verbatim Theatre from Oral Histories (Routledge, 2020); the plays: Gateway to Heaven, Hearing Voices, and Rights of Passage (all published by Tollington Press); and she is the co-editor of New Directions in Queer Oral History – Archives of Disruption (Routledge, 2022). She is also a lesbian comedian and songwriter, performing her stage shows to theatres in the UK and the US.

Feedback from LGBT North East Workplace Equality and Inclusion Conference

I wanted to offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to you for delivering such an impeccable presentation at the conference. I can’t tell you how many people came up to me yesterday to say how much they enjoyed your input to the day. Words like ‘amazing’, ‘inspirational’ and ‘outstanding’ were used many times over. Personally, I agree with all those accolades and would add many more of my own. I was hoping for something that would make our conference different from many other workplace events – and you delivered that to perfection.

             Ken Mortimer. Administrator – LGBT North East Workplace Equality and Inclusion Conference


Feedback from ParliOut  (LGBTQ staff and members of the Houses of Parliament)

As part of LGBT History Month, we were delighted to welcome comedienne and playwright Clare Summerskill back to Parliament for this illuminating insight into the experiences of older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people living on the margins of society. Testimony combines a presentational talk with readings and original songs about older LGBT people’s lives and stories. The event was well attended with colleagues from the Commons, Lords and PICT. As a talk, Testimony is funny, warm, eye opening, poignant and real.

                   Jenny Radcliffe. Co-chair ParliOut

Event Location:

LSBU Croydon campus, Wellesley Road, Croydon, Croydon London, Surrey, CR0 1LB, UK
Sorry, this event is expired and no longer available.
Organiser info
Catherine Pestano

  • LSBU Croydon campus
  • Wellesley Road, Croydon
  • Croydon London
  • Surrey
  • CR0 1LB
  • UK

All times are GMT timezone

Event Schedule Details

  • 27/02/2023
    6:45 pm - 8:00 pm
  Price: Free
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Gateway to Heaven Clare Summerskill Croydon

Number of attendees: 29

shenayMiranda A*******gKatie H**l
JGJohn L****rSteve B***e
Catherine D**********sZeiaAnne G****y
Niki F****rLaura T******nYvonne D****e
Neevy N****rBarbara C**********dSharon G***n
angela.vanegas@btinternet.comChris T****rNisha
Pauline H*****kHero J*****nJanet C******y
Annie g*****dElvette B***njules r***s
Debbie B**********sCatherine D**********sEdward B****n
Andrea G***gJayne B***n
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