Queer/Welsh and Welsh/Queer

A chapter contributed to Queer Wales: The History, Culture and Politics of Queer Life in Wales, edited by Huw Osborne. This essay explores the work of playwright Dafydd James – and his collaboration with Ben Lewis – as a way of thinking about the politics of queer/Welsh identity and belonging in the UK and further afield.

Excerpt: ‘In a country with two national theatres companies – the Welsh-language Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and the English-language National Theatre Wales (NTW) – negotiations between language, national identity and cultural production through performance are an issue of live debate in which claims on belonging blur with claims on place. In reading two recent performance works by Dafydd James and Ben Lewis – James and Lewis’ The Village Social (2012) and James’ Llwyth (2010) – this chapter examines the status of queerness in that ongoing dialogue, and suggests how hybrid formulations of queer/Welsh and Welsh/queer identity can inform our understanding of cultural attachments to the local, and the status of the local in our broader conception of Wales’.