Homo Promos is legally HP Produktions Ltd – yes, that’s the right spelling; we thought the irritation factor would make it memorable. We are a not-for-profit lesbian and gay theatre company based in London. We prefer to work with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender performers, writers and production teams, but we also recognise that talent is of overriding importance, as long as the talented person involved is Queer-friendly.
Homo Promos was founded by Peter Scott-Presland in 1988, and named after the infamous Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 which said that a Local Authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. This gratuitous, if meaningless, legal insult incensed us, but it didn’t stop us recognising a good name when we saw it.
We also thought that we would be able with the name to challenge the law when it came to being booked in venues owned by local authorities. Indeed, one venue would only book us if we inserted a tiny little handwritten “Not” above our logo. This ridiculous condition naturally got to the Press, resulting in some good publicity for the show (Going Bananas).
The Act was never used in the sense of cases coming to court, but it had the effect of encouraging self-censorship in schools and councils, and licensed covert homophobia. Who knows what harm it caused in practice by denying a generation of school children access to positive images of lesbians and gay men?
The Act was finally repealed in November 2003, but we’re still going strong. We always knew we would outlive it.
We have always been committed to being part of a lesbian and gay community, although there is increasing uncertainty as to what that community actually is. But it has led us to perform in pubs, community centres, gay restaurants, and in the open air, as well as in more conventional theatres. We have also promoted the work of other performers, especially cabaret performers, and raised money for gay causes.
During the 15 years that we have been going, we have presented over a dozen shows, many with a musical format. After a fallow period we are back in business with a vengeance, with a new board of directors, and new shows being planned. We are always happy to hear from lesbian and gay performers, writers and technicians. Please sign our Visitors Book, and if you want to send us a CV, music sample or script, please contact: