Programme, 'Royal Court Theatre'
This Royal Court Theatre programme dates from 1951, making it one of the oldest objects in the Museum of Liverpool's LGBT collection. When it was made, all sexual acts between men were still illegal and could be punished by time in prison and/or chemical castration. Despite this, LGBT people found unofficial places to meet and one of the most popular in Liverpool from the 1940s-1960s, was the bar of the Royal Court Theatre. In the middle of the 20th century, theatres were often far more tolerant of LGBT people than other places, and the Royal Court welcomed closeted LGBT performers to its stage. The theatre, along with hotels such as The Stork and The Adelphi, and bars including The Magic Clock, became part of a growing, but still unofficial ‘gay quarter’ in the city centre, around Queen Square.