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Q&A with Martin Lewton

Handel’s Cross Writer and Performer

We caught up with Martin Lewton who gave us some insights into Handel’s Cross, which will be at the CCA 15-16 Oct…

What should a Handel’s Cross audience expect?

Our recent work has explored gay identity by using parallel narratives and focussing on the naked male body. Or putting it another way, you will see a naked gay man fantasizing about Handel, manacled to a St Andrew’s Cross while another man beats him.

Where did the idea from Handel’s Cross come from?

We wanted to make a show about Handel because we were intrigued that a composer who was almost certainly gay was held up by many of his biographers as a “man of normal masculine constitution” Researching Handel’s life we found that for most of it he was physically and mentally in pain – this is where the sado-masochism comes in – how then did he compose such effortlessly sublime music?

Do all your productions have a gay theme?

In recent years, yes. There is so much to explore theatrically from reclaiming gay texts to looking at the way society’s attitudes and LGBT lives are changing so fast and all the problems and pleasures that are thrown up.

Your work is quite challenging for an audience, is that deliberate?

We want to take the audience to places they haven’t been before and show them things they may not have seen before and we want to present our work in a way that is unique to live performance. We work a lot with The Basement in Brighton, a live art venue where edgy work is made.

Is there something about Handel’s original intention in creating The Messiah that parallels your approach to the work?

The Messiah was premiered in Dublin where Handel’s Cross was first performed at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. The Messiah could be seen as a work about pleasure and pain both of which are at the heart of Handel’s Cross.

TUES 15 – WED 16 OCT, 7.30pm
CCA
350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD
Tel 0141 352 4900
Tickets £11 (conc £8)
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Click here for more information about Handel’s Cross