Rotterdam, a play about sexuality and gender identity, has won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre.
The play, written by Jon Brittain, is based around couple Alice (Alice McCarthy) and Fiona/Adrian (Anna Martine).
It begins as Alice has finally plucked up the courage to email her parents to tell them that she’s gay, but before she can hit send, Fiona reveals that he has always identified as a man and now wants to start living as one named Adrian.
The revelation prompts a complex, but important exploration of sexuality and gender identity. Is Alice a lesbian if she’s in a relationship with Adrian? What does this mean for her own coming out?
The play has received praise from trans support organisations, including Trans Media Watch, who help the media report on transgender issues “with accuracy, dignity & respect”, and called it a “smart and well-informed play”.
Trans-themed play Rotterdam has won a prestigious Olivier award: https://t.co/qb9hMON1wg
— Trans Media Watch (@TransMediaWatch) 10 April 2017
After it had been announced that they had won the award, Anna Martine, who plays Fiona/Adrian said:
“I’m over the moon that Rotterdam has won tonight. From what I’ve been told, the play is the first transgender themed performance to ever be nominated at the Olivier Awards.
“To win this prestigious accolade brings us one step closer to taking LGBTQIA+ narratives out of the awnings and into the mainstream, where they can be enjoyed by everyone.”
Thank you everyone! NYC we’ll see you soon!!! https://t.co/KvM5hOXfoN
— Rotterdam (the play) (@RotterdamPlay) 9 April 2017
“Next month we’re taking this wonderful, heart-warming and funny story to a new audience in New York. It’s had such impact in the UK – I still have people coming up to me saying how moved they were – and with everything going on, I’d love for Rotterdam to have a larger effect on ‘inclusion’ and ‘understanding’ around the world.”
As TimeOut wrote in its four-star review of the play:
“[Jon] Brittain’s play is another reminder – warm, witty and wise – of the stupidity of thinking that there are only two genders.”