Derby Theatre Associate Artist Simon Marshall presents


A New Play by Simon Marshall

Fri 10 - Sat 11 Nov 2023 Archive
Through pop music, movement & playful storytelling ‘BONFIRE’ is a monologue-megamix exploring growing up on the internet in rural Derbyshire, reclaiming queer identity and resisting shame.

Leon’s gone live. Stood in his Nana’s lounge, wearing his favourite cardigan, blasting the Sugababes, Leon’s determined to confront the demons of his past; both digital and physical. BONFIRE follows a young gay man from Derbyshire’s journey through adolescence. Like ‘Easy A’ meets ‘It’s A Sin’, Leon stitches together a narrative of his family, friends & secrets, hurtling us back to the dial-up internet era and forward again, as he learns to celebrate his future.

I really remember when I was 9 walking with my Nana, I saw a bull try and mount another bull and looking back I think that might be the closest we’ve ever had to a gay love story round here.

Written by Derby Theatre Associate Artist Simon Marshall, this piece is inspired by Bernardo’s 2016 ‘Not on the Radar’ report & consultation with Derbyshire LGBT+.




Time: 8.00pm
Performance duration: 80 minutes (no interval)
Age guidance: 16+
Advisories: Contains Sexual References, Strong Language, Homophobic Language and explores Online Grooming & Grief

Teaser Trailer

Bonfire: A New Play by Simon Marshall



Ollie McLellan


Written by

Simon Marshall

Directed by

Alice Fitzgerald

Photography by

Chris Web & Eartha Johnson