CAGS — Croydon Area Gay Society

For other local LGBT groups, see LGBT Croydon.

Press Release: Croydon Group celebrates Gay History Month

22 January 2007

Croydon Area Gay Society (CAGS) is putting on an evening of play readings to celebrate fifty years of progress in gay rights. The event will be held at the Warehouse Theatre, Dingwall Road, Croydon at 8 pm on Monday the 5th of February, and is open to the public (no charge, but there will be a collection in aid of the Warehouse Theatre, which is threatened with closure). Members of CAGS and their friends will be taking the various parts, and the evening will be directed by David Page, Chair of CAGS, who is well known for his involvement in local amateur dramatics.

The evening will comprise two short pieces, showing how the situation of gay people in this country has improved greatly over the years, and is presented in association with LGBT History Month, a national celebration throughout February of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender history.

Rid England of this Plague is taken from Rex Batten’s autobiographical novel of the same name about life in the 1950s — a period when a Home Secretary had promised to rid England of the “plague” of homosexuality. A visit from the police has a devastating affect on two young men, who just wanted to live quietly together. Rex himself will there on the 5th to read the prologue and answer questions. Copies of the book will also be on sale.

The second piece will be an extract from Beautiful Thing, the acclaimed play by Jonathan Harvey: a heart-warming story about two young men coming to grips with their sexuality and the effect it has on their lives. By the 1990s official persecution of gay people has long since come to an end, but young gay men still face difficulties with coming out to their families and the risk of bullying at school.

David Page said “We’re very excited about the play reading: this is a new venture for CAGS, but fits in well with our commitment to support the LGBT Community.”

Ross Burgess, Secretary of CAGS, said “We’re grateful to the Warehouse Theatre for allowing us to put on this event, and to Rex Batten for coming and support us in person. We understand that the Metropolitan Police are interested in using Rid England of this Plague in their training materials, as an example of the “bad old days” of police attitudes to gay people.”

Anyone interested in CAGS is invited to phone David on 020 8686 1550 or Geoff on 020 8651 0292, or look at the CAGS web site,

For more about LGBT History Month, see


For more information on this press release, e-mail

For LGBT groups and events around London, see LGBT London.
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