Theatre Writers Workshop's Lili plays Etcetera Theatre
Theatre Writers Workshop presents Lili, a piece entirely developed and performed by a transgender cast, at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden, north London, from 28 Jul to 02 Aug 2014.
Synopsis: 'The story of Lili Elbe is recreated from her 1930 diaries written during the time that she became the first known woman to undergo full realignment surgery, examining the challenges of living as a trans person and the need of the trans community to find a positive role and image in society. Lili Elbe was born Einar Mogens Wegener in Denmark in the 1880s. She married fellow painter Gerda Gottleib, and discovered when standing in for an absentee female model that she was comfortable in heels and stockings. The couple moved to Paris, where Elbe lived openly as a woman, often introduced as Einar’s sister. In 1930, she underwent a series of surgeries for sex reassignment, which were experimental at the time, becoming a sensation in German and Danish newspapers. After the King of Denmark invalidated Lili and Gerda’s marriage, she remarried an unknown man, and died shortly after in an operation to transplant a uterus in her desire to have children with her husband.'
Lili, directed by Liz Lees, features a transgender cast including Stephanie Collins, Simona Continente, Victoria Elizabeth, and James Le Lacheur.
Producer Chris Mellor released a statement saying:
“Presently trans people are telling us that they are often scared and fear being ridiculed when taking part in any participatory arts program that is not sensitive to their 'trans journey experience'. We don't want to invest time in any project that may create and develop stereotypical images, and want to work in a safe environment. At the same time, we wish to be able to present publicly a quality piece of work that may help the wider public understand the complexities of being a trans person. The story of Lili Elbe presented the ideal opportunity.”