Who owns history? And who gets to share it? A Manchester Tour guide and a leading expert on the lost language of Gay men discuss these questions (and much more) in a fast-paced theatre double-bill coming to the Coliseum on Thursday 14 October.

Double-Ender is a fresh off the page double bill of monologues performed and written by Joshua Val Martin, (Bruntwood Prize, Royal Exchange Theatre), and Jez Dolan, (V&A and British Museum).

Double-Ender shares personal, candid, and sometimes laugh-out-loud stories, about Queer people – past and present – living, learning, and loving in a rapidly changing Manchester.

Joshua Val Martin is a real-life tour guide – in-between writing for stage and TV – and through his company, Free Manchester Walking Tours, he guides locals and tourists around the city he’s made his home. He shares stories of his uniquely diverse audience ranging from the Uruguayan rugby team, Noel Gallagher, to customers for the city’s various hedonistic fetish nights. Joshua experiences the dark underbelly of tour guide turf wars which leave him pondering who, ultimately, has more right to tell the story of a city…

Jez Dolan is part stand-up, part-lecturer, and fantbulosa sing-a-long host with something of a cult following for projects that have included Tim Greening-Jackson’s translation of the King James Bible into Polari for an exhibition at Manchester’s John Rylands Library. The Polari Bible is now in Bury Museum and Art Gallery’s permanent collection.

What’s Polari? Jez is here to explain:

Polari was the subversive and lost language of Queer men spoken in the gay pubs and secret spaces of yesteryear. The coded language was once heard in TV and radio comedy and hid a then illegal homosexual subculture in plain sight with some audiences ‘in the know and in on the joke’ and others not having the faintest clue. By the end of Jez’s gallop through the history of Polari, audiences will have learned their actual Polari; it’s bona to vada your dolly old eek!

Audiences will leave the theatre with a far wider and cheekier vocabulary than the one they went in with…That’s a promise.

Double-Ender is suitable for ages 14+. It comes to the Coliseum as part of a North West tour on Thursday 14 October at 7.30pm.

7.30pm Thursday 14 October, Oldham Coliseum Theatre, £10/£7 under 26s, 0161 624 2829, coliseum.org.uk

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