Hosanna (1981)

Mile End Road
27 Oct - 14 Nov 1981
Hosanna Programme (1) Hosanna Programme (1)
  • by Michel Tremblay
  • Translator John Van Burek
  • Translator Bill Glassco
  • Co-production Birmingham Repertory Theatre

The story takes place in Montreal, Quebec and centres on the relationship between Hosanna, a drag queen dressed as Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra, and Cuirette, an aging stud and homosexual biker. This play takes place in Hosanna’s apartment, “somewhere in the Plaza Saint-Hubert”, after she and Cuirette have returned from a Halloween party.

The play dealt with several issues including gender identity, sexual identity, the ignorance and acceptance of ageing, and social expressions of homosexuality. Hosanna discusses her relationship with her mother and shows her anxieties over her knowledge of who she really is. The scholar and activist Viviane Namaste has criticized Hosanna, which ends with its protagonist identifying as a gay man after a series of humiliations, as reinforcing a patriarchal, transphobic ideology in which a “reliance on the ideas of illusion, deception, and betrayal presupposes that we as transgendered people do not know who we are…. It is through such a violently anti-transgendered discourse that Tremblay enables gay male subject-positions.

Hosanna played in the Studio at Birmingham Repertory before transferring to Half Moon Theatre.

Programme and Press

Cast List

Creative Team

  • Bill Pryde Director
  • Geoffrey Scott Designer
  • Michael Rowntree Lighting Designer
  • Adrian Redmond Production Manager
  • Jane Stuffing Deputy Stage Manager

Related productions

As Is poster

As Is (1987)

One of the first AIDS/HIV plays performed in the UK.

Read More