8th June 2021

By Matthew Todd

By Matthew Todd

Directed by Susie McKenna

Nigel loves his hedonistic lifestyle – he has a long-term partner, goes clubbing and has lots of sex in their open relationship. Jamie, isn’t sure things are so great…

The night before Pride in London, the couple make contact with a stranger on the internet, a mysterious young man that seems too good to be true. They make plans for a night of casual sex, but their young guest has a very different agenda…

Blowing Whistles was first staged in workshop by Trilby productions at the Jermyn Street Theatre in July 2003 and later produced by Marji & Joan Productions at the Warehouse Theatre, Croydon in May 2005.

The reading as part of Rally Fest is by arrangement with Knight Hall Agency Ltd.


Matthew Todd


Matthew Todd was Editor-in-chief of Attitude, the UKs best-selling gay magazine for 8 years where Prince William sat for the cover of his final issue, making history as the first member of the Royal family to speak out against homo, bi and transphobic bullying.

His first book, ‘Straight Jacket: Overcoming societies legacy of gay shame’ (Black Swan), the first British book on LGBT mental health, has been described as ‘lifesaving’ and ‘game changing’ by readers, as ‘an essential read for every gay person on the planet’ by Sir Elton John and as ‘utterly brilliant’ by Owen Jones in The Guardian.

He appears regularly in the media, has presented two films for BBC Newsnight and is the recipient of 3 British Society of Magazine Editors Editor of the Year Awards, a Stonewall Journalist of the Year award and Boyz LGBT Book of the Year award.

‘Blowing Whistles’ has been performed in the UK, US and Australia. His second book, ‘Pride: The Story of the LGBTQ Equality Movement’, described as ‘a joyous celebration’ by Russell T Davies, is published in the UK, Italy, France, Spain and America. In 2017 he was awarded the Freedom of the City of London for services to the LGBT community.

Susie McKenna


Susie has been working as an actor, writer, and director for over 35 years working in

theatres, nationally and in the West End, Television and film. She has also produced

documentaries including Battle Axes for Channel 4 and Journey into Evil for ABC in the USA. Susie is currently Associate Director at Kiln theatre in London and working freelance as a writer, director and actress. In 2019 she directed Blues In the Night starring Sharon D Clarke, Clive Rowe, Debbie Kurup and Gemma Sutton at Kiln theatre as part of their inaugural season which was Olivier Nominated for Outstanding Achievement in an affiliate theatre last year. In 2018 /19 Susie directed the critically acclaimed world premiere of Oranges and Elephants by Lil Warren and Jo Collins, as part of the Female Parts season at Hoxton Hall in London. The show is Nominated for two OFFIES She also adapted and directed Martin Smiths KING commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination in 2018 to critical success. She is developing it for a full concert tour in 2022

After writing and directing Hackney Empire’s first ‘in house’ pantomime, Dick Whittington, in 1998, Susie has both written and directed the pantomime there every year since including the 2019 /2020 21st anniversary production of Dick Whittington set-in post-war London 1948 as Dick arrives on the SS Empire Windrush for which she won Best director at the Great British Pantomime awards. Having had a long association with Hackney Empire as associate director, Susie spearheaded the reopening after a brief closure in 2010 and became Creative Director of

Hackney Empire until December 2016, responsible for programming and creative

engagement delivery. Her other main house productions at Hackney Empire include: Blues in the Night, Beau Jest, Sit and Shiver starring Steven Berkoff, Kat and Tameka Show, La Variété, A Midsummer Night’s Madness (NYC and Edinburgh) a musical adaptation of Macbeth and Once on this Island; a co-production with Birmingham Rep and Nottingham Playhouse. In 2012 she was the festival director for Ha Ha Ha Hackney – a 7 show celebration of 60 years of British

comedy for the London 2012 Cultural Festival. Susie ,along with composer Steve Edis , musically adapted two shows, A Christmas Carol

( Arts Theatre London West End 2009 ) and Ian Serraillier’s The Silver Sword for the stage at Coventry Belgrade theatre and touring nationally in 2015. As an actor her West End Credits include Cats, Chicago , Ragtime and Witches Of Eastwick .

TV includes the Trip, Casualty, EastEnders, Emmerdale, London’s Burning , 3 episodes of Mr Bean Films include Jack and Sarah, Cats ( TV and video of stage show playing Jennyanydots ), Muppets Most Wanted and Lennie James’s Storm Damage .

She has been nominated twice for the Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award and nominated for Best director, Best Show and Best script for Aladdin at Hackney Empire 2018 . This year Susie co directed with Indhhu Rubasingham a rehearsed public reading of a world premiere of Marina Carr’s ‘ Girl on An Alter live streamed from Kiln theatre. She is co directing with Taio Lawson - NW Trilogy by Roy Williams Moira Buffini Suhayla el Bushra at Kiln Theatre this summer 2021 .





Elander Moore


Toby Sawyer


Charlie Condou


Board of Trustees

Helen Clarkson
Sita Mcintosh
Sasha Regan

Artistic Director & Festival Producer

Paul Taylor Mills


Claire Evans

Technical Manager

Stacey Sandford

Theatre Manager

Jimmy Chamberlain

General Manager

Alex Kendal

Social Media Team

Josh Coley
Abby Foster
Matt Hartley

Website & Prgramme Design

Silvester Design

Rally Fest Artwork

Harry Neal

Duty Managers

Matt Hartley
Rob McWhirr

Financial Advisor

Alasdair Evans

  PRESS & PR  

Emma Holland PR

Emma Holland
Georgie Robinson


Bill Kenwright

Stuart and Hilary Williams 

Battersea Development Company

Visit us online for more information