The Multiverse is Gay!
by Lewis Hetherington
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Cast: Flexible (7-20 performers, any gender)
Performance fee: £70 per performance (plus VAT where applicable)
A wild rollercoaster ride through school, the Multiverse, and finding yourself, over and over and over again…
It’s the last day of school, and Amber bunks off to go partying with a raggle-taggle group of friends: the geeks, the queer kids, the school dropouts.
But even in this group, it can be a struggle to fit in. Accidentally stumbling through a portal that launches them across the Multiverse, Amber embarks on a journey that will force them to question who they are and who they want to become. As they tumble through time and space, will they finally find somewhere they belong?
The Multiverse is Gay! was first performed at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, in a production by the Lyceum Young Company.
Content guidance: This play contains strong language.
About the author
Lewis Hetherington is a Glasgow-based playwright and performance maker. His work is rooted in collaboration, storytelling and play. He has won two Fringe First Awards and an Adelaide Fringe Award.
He is co-founder of fieldwork performance, Constellation Points, and also an associate of The PappyShow. He has worked with companies including National Theatre of Scotland, Platform, Lyceum Theatre, Traverse and Grid Iron. He has created performances in castles, climbing arenas and swimming pools and many others sites in between. He often makes work with community groups, and has a real passion for amplifying stories which need to be heard, using creativity to empower people to find their voices and agency.
Recent work includes The Coming Back Out Ball (National Theatre of Scotland), Red Riding Hood (Citizens Theatre), Rocket Post! (Constellation Points), Dear Green Place (fieldwork performance), BOYS (The PappyShow).
His work has travelled all over the world including performances in Australia, China, Canada, Germany, Japan, the US and Singapore amongst others.
Interview with Lewis Hetherington
The Multiverse is Gay! is a story about finding yourself. How can young people bring their own lived experiences to their characters when staging this play?
What I love about writing a play is about creating a springboard for people to leap off from, into a realm of their imagination. These characters, like all characters I write, are an offer to an actor to take from words on a page to someone who is living, breathing and moving on the stage in front of us. There is lots of scope to imagine what the other worlds all the different Ambers have come from are like; what has shaped or influenced the person the type of Amber each Amber has become. I want actors in this play can draw on their own truth, their own lived experience, to lift these characters off the page, because that’s how we as an audience come to really care about them and connect to them.
The play is split between ‘our reality’ and the ‘big nowhere’. What is the importance of the multiverse to this play?
The Multiverse gives us a chance to imagine what else is out there, what might have happened to us if we made different chances. But it’s not about regret for me, it’s about saying - there is still possibility for change, all the time. There is no one correct way to be, no one simple answer to the complex question of being human! There are always ways to find different paths, and all of us make choices which get us into trouble, face challenges we would rather not. And then it’s up to us to find a way out of that rupture, to find a way to grow. Also I love using the Multiverse because it invites us into something big and bonkers beyond our everyday lives!
The play is written for an ensemble of 13. What is the importance of the ensemble?
Theatre to me is all about collaboration. That’s the joy of it, and often, that’s the challenge of it. Humans need stories, but I think we’re at a moment now where we’re beginning to comprehend the importance of LOTS of stories, multiple narratives weaving together, we all have rich and complicated inner lives, and I think creating theatre with an ensemble cast is a beautiful celebration of that. It’s a chance for us to relish in and highlight the complexity of identity and experience that exists in us all.
Do you have any advice for actors performing the play, or for directors staging it?
Have fun! Be Creative! I wanted to write something which is an invitation to play, so hopefully you’ll find lots of space for you to imagine what things might look and sound like, how these characters might come to life in their fullest sense, how the magic of the Multiverse might be presented. At its heart, this is a play about a group of people learning how to be more understanding, of each other and themselves. So if you create a process which is about making space for kindness and playfulness, where everyone gets to feel heard and celebrated, then that will shine through for an audience coming to see the show.