My essentials: Luke Saydon’s cultural picks

No 46 | 28, Luke Saydon, Theatre Maker

1. Book

Kollox jeħel magħna by Francesco Grech – it has to be one of the bravest things I’ve read lately. It is a collection of impeccable poems that are equally heart-breaking as they are heart-warming. They follow journey of a gay man growing up in our country. With a vocabulary that is so fresh and current, I think it manages to hit such a raw nerve with any queer person of my generation. It has a vulnerability that is unfiltered an it has inspired me a lot.

2. TV/Film

‘El Baile De Los 41’ by David Pablos – it’s a true story from 1901, Mexico. A group of 41 men were arrested for hosting an unlawful “dance”, like an illegal gay club – a big scandal where homosexuality was first mentioned in the media. The movie is a work of genius because I think it gives an excellent insight to the struggles that go on inside a closeted man’s brain. It’s a reminder that LGBTQI+ people in some countries still can’t dance together. That’s why this movie is essential to me.

3. Interent 

The Ru Paul’s Drag Race Franchise - I know. I’m as shocked as you are. My first choice of TV would be any series by Russel T. Davies (genius writer), but if we’re talking essentials... I think that Drag Race might win the title. It’s a drag queen competition. It’s dramatic, it’s fierce and a big mover for queer culture today. Whenever I cook, there is an episode of Drag Race accompanying me. When life gets too tough, Drag Race will sashay the problems away.

4. Music

Cabaret Original Broadway Cast Recording by Kander & Ebb – tough question this one. Because it’s like choosing my favourite child. The definite essential is musical theatre (I am very rarely caught listening to anything but that). If I had to choose right now, it would probably be Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret musical. A hugely political piece that drives its audience (so cleverly) from being entertained to being disturbed by the state of our world. How can art do that? Really challenge? I think it’s one of the wittiest and well-crafted musicals out there.

5. Place

My favourite place in the world is a theatre, at the moment when a show is about to start. Whether I’m in the audience, musical directing in an orchestra pit or waiting backstage in the wings. I think it’s an unparalleled feeling of joy and nervousness and suspense. If I had to wish for one essential state of being for the rest of my life, it would be at that place at that time.