Adults-only evening at Banqueting House exploring the stories of King James I and his male favourites. Featuring live performance, talks, demonstrations, music and drinking.
“Elizabeth was King, now James is Queen”
Remembered today for the King James Bible and the gunpowder plot, James I is less well-known for his popular nickname ‘Queen James’. His succession of male favourites wielded their influence in the political sphere as well as within the confines of the King’s bedchamber.
Join us for an adults-only evening promising drama, drinking and discovery in the spectacular setting of the Banqueting House on Whitehall.
Encounter new performances specially devised for the night by performance artist Scottee and playwright Mark Ravenhill. Inspired by the letters between James I and rakish favourite Duke of Buckingham, these will explore themes of gender, identity and sexuality in a risqué and irreverent style.
The night will also feature talks on:
How the Stuarts used makeup to blur the boundaries between the sexes (including live demos)
Cross-dressing crazes and early feminism in 17th century Britain
The portraits of the favourites (and how to catch the King’s eye…)
Historic ideas of homosexuality and its exploitation as a public propaganda tool
For those with a taste for losing their inhibitions, the Banqueting House’s Undercroft will also return to its former life as James I’s drinking den with a licensed bar and music.
Part of #PalacePride event series, celebrating 1,000 years of kings, queens and in-betweens in 2017, the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967.