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Speaking Out and Fitting In


Alice d’Lumiere generally prefers to go unnoticed; she wants to be an ordinary person on the train, or in the supermarket. She’s happy to be anonymous; a sensible, middle-aged woman…. However, she’s also a Poet, Actress and a Performance Artist; and therefore cursed with an occasional, but irresistible desire to speak up, stand out and be the centre of attention! Things can get a little complex because Alice is also gender fluid…

Speaking Out and Fitting In” is a work in verse and prose, with flashes of cabaret and aerial burlesque, in which Alice playfully explores the wonderful, if occasionally counter-intuitive, position of an individual striving to both fit into another gender, whilst at the same time yearning to establish a unique, personal voice for themselves.

This is a show about how delightfully queer life can be when you decide to step beyond your birth gender.

Alice d’Lumiere, (also known in “guy-mode” as Darren Gooding), is an East Anglian performer who grew up in Colchester. They are a theatre-maker, playwright and performance poet, and in both genders a regular contributor to the regional Arts scene, possessing a long-standing creative partnership with Colchester Arts Centre and more recently a burgeoning artistic relationship with major regional producing Theatre, the Mercury.

Alice has also been a regular performer and compere for Colchester Pride since its inception in 2017. In 2018 she joined the Colchester Pride committee and helped steer the event into 2019. She remained with CP to become its Lead Event Coordinator for 2021. A proud East Anglian, Alice has also performed at Norwich Pride from 2017.

All of Alice’s artistic output involves an element of personal challenge; pushing herself to learn new and unlikely performance skills; from close-up magic to aerial hoop. Her next performance challenge, “The Trans Lady Sings”, involves attempting to become an Opera Singer with no previous musical experience…

“Speaking Out and Fitting In!” was co-commissioned by Colchester Arts Centre and Norwich Arts Centre. The work has been supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.  Alice has also been a beneficiary of the Mercury Theatre’s “Creatives” Programme 2021-2022 and through that has also received invaluable support from South-based Theatre Producers 1DegreeEast

“Speaking Out and Fitting In” began in the year before the first lockdown, when Alice was asked to loan one of her performance dresses to a Museum; a privilege she thought was reserved for the deceased and royalty; she then ended the year performing in public as a live Christmas Fairy! The show was then constructed from a progression of “scratch” performances undertaken at various exciting London and Eastern venues; including Battersea Arts Centre and The Pleasance, along with the Junction in Cambridge. The run began in earnest at the commissioning venues, of Colchester and Norwich Arts Centres along with Poplar Union in East London, The Place, Bedford  and a number of  summer performances at various regional LGBTQ+ Prides.

This show marks Alice’s fifth Arts Council England supported project. It is accompanied by a series of spoken word workshops looking at the experience of finding one’s voice in verse and prose.

“Speaking Out Fitting In” is being performed at The Mercury Theatre, Colchester (30 June) and The Seagull Theatre Lowestoft (15 July).



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