North London's Cultural Guide

My Boy Danny: the acclaimed play tackling LGBTQ hate crime

Written and directed by Alfie James, don't miss this production coming to Kentish Town's Lion & Unicorn Theatre

My new play My Boy Danny tells the story of a mother’s struggle to come to terms with the death of her teenage son. It examines the need for her questions to be answered, not only about what happened, but about the mysterious stranger who’s been watching her every night.

The play is produced by my small independent company, Alfie James Productions, which I started to explore issues affecting society and to promote positive social change. As well as performing, I also create community theatre projects to support vulnerable people. These have included The Black Dog Theatre Creation, helping adults with low confidence, and the Story Box Community Theatre Project working with older members of the community helping them to remain physically and mentally active.

Alfie James
Alfie James (left) coaches cast members. Photo: PR

Back to the play: I originally wrote My Boy Danny, which runs for three days in Kentish Town’s Lion & Unicorn theatre this month, to form part of a free educational package to raise awareness of gang-knife crime and hate crime towards members of the LGBTQ community. Both have seen an alarming increase in statistics in the past few years. I strongly believe that performance techniques can be used as a powerful tool in bringing about positive social change.

Due to Covid, we weren’t able to do the play live which put a spanner in the works. Refusing to be disheartened, we then set about creating an audio version via Zoom from our own living rooms. None of us had done anything like it before, and what proceeded was a wonderful four-month journey of learning about the ins and outs of this new medium, learning how to use Zoom and overcoming challenges of creating sound effects, adapting dialogue and relying upon our voices as our only acting device. In short, a great learning experience.


My Boy DannyThe audio play went live, and we quickly received a string of positive reviews; one hailed it as a “powerful and poetic piece of writing which is a relevant song for our society today”.  It was also deemed a success by audience members for its realism and sensitivity.

Things continued to get better: I was blown away when we received Arts Council Funding to develop the piece into a stage play, and support from both Stonewall and The Southwark Well-being Hub to further our educational materials.

Rehearsals have been going exceptionally well and I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive and dedicated cast, which includes Kitty Whitley, Ben Kinsman and Atarah, all pictured above. In fact I still can’t quite believe how my little play, written to support schools and the community, is now being performed at the wonderful Lion and Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town’s leafy Gaisford Street.

My Boy Danny is at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre from 11th-13th October. Tickets £13/ £11 can be purchased here

Please support us if you can

If you enjoyed reading this, perhaps you could help out? In November 2021, Kentishtowner will celebrate its 11th birthday. But with the sad demise of our free independent monthly print titles due to advertising revenues in freefall, we need your support more than ever to continue delivering cultural stories that celebrate our neighbourhood. Every contribution is invaluable in helping the costs of running the website and the time invested in the research and writing of the articles published. Support Kentishtowner here for less than the price of a coffee – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

Leave a Comment

About Kentishtowner

The award-winning print and online title Kentishtowner was founded in 2010 and is part of London Belongs To Me, a citywide network of travel guides for locals. For more info on what we write about and why, see our About section.