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"The kind of queer show that heals your soul"
- CristinaHasbian Audience-member
 Developing Hasbian & Queer Diary CIC 
About Us 

Beth Watson - Writer/Performer of Hasbian & Host/Facilitator of Queer Diary

Beth is the Co-Director of Queer Diary CIC, and founder of Bechdel Theatre CIC (a grassroots organisation that supports, amplifies and connects people of marginalised genders in the performing arts), and a Roundhouse Accelerator Prize-winner (Self-Made programme for Creative Entrepreneurs, 2023). Beth is also a founding-member of Stanley Arts' Croydon Emerging Writers group (CREW), and sits on the board of directors for QAFSpace digital LGBTQIA+ community events hub.

Performer credits include: Hasbian R&D (Camden People's Theatre, The Pleasance); Sing-derella (Omnibus Theatre); MANdemonium: A Drag King Cabaret (VAULT Festival, Omnibus Theatre, Camden People's Theatre); #BinariesBegone (R&D with Access All Areas); The Family Jewels: POWER (DIY Space Peckham); The Unfortunate Bisexual (Edinburgh Fringe); Article 10 (Camden Fringe Festival).

Beth is an experienced facilitator specialising in supporting LGBTQIA+ creative expression, and preventing gendered oppression. Beth has delivered creative workshops for Spotlight, Bristol University, Roehampton University, Florida State University, Oregon University, The Mono Box, The Barbican, The Science Gallery, Kings College London, Tender Arts, Nomadic Youth, and L Fest (Award-nominated 'Best Workshop').

As a writer, Beth recently had a piece published in a book 'Twenty-Eight: Stories from The Section 28 Generation', and co-wrote a report, 'Job Juggling Creative Freelancers: Shaping London's Recovery', published by Freelancers Make Theatre Work, with support from the Mayor of London, Fuel Theatre, and STAMP Network of Performance venues. In 2023, Beth joined the team of guides creating tours for Queer Tours of London, and was commissioned to write an original script for an LGBTQIA+ History Tour of Vauxhall. Currently, Beth is working as a writer on a collaborative site-specific performance piece to be performed at Stanley Arts in Croydon in February 2024, as part of their Writing Redefined  programme.


Josephine Shipp - Creative Producer of Hasbian & Queer Diary

Josie is a Queer, working-class creative producer and production manager from Fenland & based in South London. 

Josie is Co-Director of Queer Diary CIC, Creative Producer of Sprezzatura Productions,  with experience of producing across the UK, managing budgets of £100k+, and an extensive network of LGBT+ community links across the UK, vital to leading community engagement on this project..

Josie's producing credits include: Sell-out run of Glamrou: From Quran to Queen (Soho Theatre Main House, 2021). Hasbian R&D (CPT, 2021, The Pleasance 2022), Queer Diary (Omnibus, 2021, Stanley Arts, 2022, Croydonites Festival 2022, Glass House 2022 ), V&V (VAULT Festival 2020 - VAULT Origins Award & OFFCOM award), Nine Foot Nine (2x Offie Award nominated, The Bunker, London & Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh 2018), Incoming Festival (Tobacco Factory Bristol, HOME Manchester & New Diorama, London 2019), Baby Box (King’s Head Theatre, 2018 & York Theatre Royal, 2019); 

Josie is Associate Producer of Sugar Coat, an award-winning queer feminist pop-punk live music play (Southwark Playhouse, 2023, The Stage Debut Awards Nominated),  ”this doesn't feel like a traditional theatre experience: the audience are whooping & clapping… it's clear that everyone onstage and off is having a great time” - Broadway World, 5* 

Queer Diary CIC

Queer Diary is a Community Interest Company recently founded by Beth and Josie, following 2+ years of collaboration on successful ACE-funded Queer Diary & Hasbian work, producing affordable activities for LGBTQIA+ people to creatively share coming-of-age memories.


Our work has a focus on benefitting underserved communities historically excluded from queer social spaces (which are often expensive, inaccessible, and centre cis gay men). Our CIC is an Equity-led LGBTQIA+ organisation, for a community that actively includes (but not limited to): 

with representation from all these groups/experiences in our company's leadership roles.


Our performance events, workshops, and zines aim to facilitate community connections, tackling loneliness and isolation. We do this by providing a supportive environment for LGBTQIA+ people to share something meaningful from their real lives, whilst bonding and making friends, in an inclusive and interactive setting that's filled with fun, humour, empathy, and solidarity. 

This project supports a key stage of development for us, taking Hasbian/Queer Diary from being a one-off artistic project, to establishing our long-term plans for how we intend to work and grow as a company, and strategically building our relationships with partners, audiences, and participants.

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Story So Far
The Story So Far 


  • Beth shares some old teenage diary entries, just for for fun, at an open-mic night called 'Dear Diary'.

  • Encouraged by audience members and event organisers Beth starts writing a show (Hasbian) from these diaries.

  • Beth has the idea to run an open-mic diary-reading event specifically for LGBTQIA+ people (Queer Diary) supporting others to share their teenage diaries and memories in a space created for our community.​


  • Beth writes the first draft of Hasbian.

  • Extracts of Hasbian shared at comedy, cabaret, storytelling and scratch nights in theatres, bars and LGBTQIA+ spaces, including: The Glory, The Apple Tree, The Pleasance, The Bunker, and Omnibus Theatre.

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  • Hasbian programmed by Omnibus Theatre & Camden People's Theatre in 2020, cancelled due to lockdown.

  • April 2020 Queer Diary began online, supported by QAF Space LGBTQIA+ community Zoom channel.

  • Monthly Queer Diary online events ran throughout 2020 with participants and audiences from across the world - from Canada to Chile.

  • Published a Queer Diary zine featuring contributions from participants.


  • ACE-supported Phase 1 R&D of Hasbian at London Performance Studios, Bermondsey, focussing on COVID-safety.

  • Beth started working with Josie.

  • Recruited our all-LGBTQIA+ & majority neurodivergent and/or disabled team.

  • Work-In-Progress performance of Hasbian at Camden People’s Theatre.

  • First in-person Queer Diary open-mic event took place and sold out at Omnibus Theatre in Clapham, alongside an exhibition of the art and artefacts from participants' teenage years.


  • ACE-funded Phase 2 R&D of Hasbian at Stanley Arts in Croydon with a sharing for local artists & community members, and Queer Diary at Croydonites Festival.


  • Began working with queer Audio Description & integrated access specialists Quiplash UK to start developing access elements for Hasbian.

  • Created a Queer Diary zine-making workshop for LGBTQIA+ people in Croydon, as part of Stanley Arts' Queer+ History Month season.

  • 2 x Hasbian performances at The Pleasance in North London.

  • Began hosting Queer Diary monthly open-mic events at Common Press LGBTQIA+ community space in Tower Hamlets.

  • Queer Diary open-mic sharing nights throughout the year, with 3-5 participants reading their diaries at each, and audiences of 50+, with tickets regularly selling out in advance.

  • Queer Diary CIC registered as a Community Interest Company.

 Queer Diary at Omnibus 


  • First Queer Diary events outside London: We ran pop-up Queer Diary open mic nights in Durham, Aberystwyth, Margate, Sheffield, and Edinburgh, reaching 30+ new participants, and 250+ new audience members regionally, in addition continuing to run monthly events in London.

  • We were awarded funding by the Mayor of London through the Building Strong Communities programme, to help us trial new approaches to Queer Diary in London in late 2023 - early 2024 with a focus on improving access and testing different sizes of event space, begin to co-create our 2nd Queer Diary zine with London workshops.

  • We hosted Queer Diary events at Edinburgh Fringe which allowed us to reach new audiences and participants from across the UK and the rest of the world, growing our networks and building meaningful connections with LGBTQIA+ creatives and community leaders nationally and internationally. We had our first conversations with UK-wide programmers and venues that will benefit us when we come to plan a full UK tour for Hasbian and Queer Diary.


 Queer Diary at Edinburgh Fringe 
Developing Our Company
Developing our Company 

After running Hasbian and Queer Diary projects together for several years - including working together on 2 successful Arts Council funded R&Ds, we registered as a Community Interest Company (Queer Diary CIC) in November 2022.

Alongside working on developing our show (Hasbian), and delivering participation activities (Queer Diary), we've build time into this project to develop our skills, knowledge, and audiences. This will help us to continue expanding Queer Diary's community and equipping us to track and measure our national impact as we do so, and to prepare for booking a full national tour for Hasbian.

In preparation for planning a national tour, Queer Diary CIC will become a member of the Independent Theatre Council, and participate in a workshop on touring, to refresh and deepen our existing knowledge in this area.

Data Collection & Analysis  

  • We're working with a senior data analyst, researcher and trainer with expertise in data management software and tools for large & small non-profit organisations (Tim Faulkner)​

  • We'll gain training and hands-on experience in using Salesforce's Non-Profit Success pack to manage our activities and data as a new CIC.

  • We'll review our current methods and develop new skills in relation to: gathering and managing data, measuring engagement, outcomes, and impact.

  • We'll learn how to reliably track the success of our activities and our environmental sustainability as we expand our work on national level (including learning how to accurately measure our energy consumption, waste generation, transport emissions & resources used during this project, to inform positive climate action in our future work)

  • We'll develop our methods of gathering data and feedback in consultation with participants, community members, and venues as well as taking expert advice, to ensure we're doing so sensitively and safely, without creating any discomfort or barriers

  • Dialogue with community partners and venues on this project will ensure we're analysing data using relevant benchmarks and KPIs that recognise the needs and wants of all the people we're working with, supporting the aims of community orgs and venues.

  • We'll learn new ways of effectively using existing and new data, laying the groundwork for our company's Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, Business Plan, and Theory of Change.

  • The data we gather during our London run of Hasbian and pilot tour of pop-up Queer Diary events will be instrumental in planning our full national tour in future.

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Setting Financial Policy & Processes  

  • We'll use our new company bank account which only company directors (Beth & Josie) have access to. We'll conduct regular meetings to closely monitor and assess our finances, ensuring we're on track and making informed financial decisions.

  • We'll maintain comprehensive and organised records of all financial transactions. This record-keeping will help us stay accountable and provides a clear financial history for our company going forwards.

  • We'll keep a close eye on our cash flow, ensuring that we always have a clear picture of our current financial situation. This proactive approach will allow us to dynamically adapt to change in financial circumstances.​

  • We set aside 10% of our budget as a contingency fund. This financial cushion is there to handle unexpected expenses or emergencies. We have ensured that the contingency covers all of our 'expected' earned income, providing an additional level of financial security, enabling the project to remain viable under a range of circumstance.

  • To maintain compliance and proper management of our accounts, we will hire an accountant. This ensures our financial records align with legal and regulatory requirements and our new responsibilities of operating as a CIC.

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Developing our Audiences 

  • Growing our connections with LGBTQIA+ community groups in different locations across the UK, taking time to understand their responses to Queer Diary by speaking to them and surveying them on our pilot tour.

  • Continuing building and engaging with our local South London audiences, by following our previous successful Queer Diary night at Omnibus with a week-long run of Hasbian at the same venue.

  • Reaching Deaf audiences by integrating Creative Captioning into Hasbian, and hosting a sharing for Deaf audience feedback on this.

  • Continue developing and testing new ways of engaging our community online, through interactive content including (but not limited to): collaborative Queer Diary playlists, Hasbian quizzes & polls, and live-streaming Queer Diary events.

  • Continue developing our ways of actively engaging our community offline, including through Queer Diary open mic nights, workshops, and publishing our second collaborative Queer Diary Zine, featuring contributions from participants.

  • We'll take time to review in-depth how audiences engage with our work as a whole, to gain a deeper understanding of how audiences online translate into in-person attendance (or vice-versa). We'll look at how many audience members attend both Queer Diary and Hasbianto consider which of our activities attracts them first (and why), and how often they return to engage with activities in different ways (ie, beginning as an audience member, then participating, or vice-versa)

Facilitation methodology 

  • We're continuing to develop our methodology for working with open mic participants to ensure our events are as safe, welcoming, accessible and fun as possible, encouraging and enabling more people to take part, whilst expanding on the variety of settings, and range of different people we work with.

  • We know some participants may need more support, or different kinds of support, when it comes to preparing something to share on a microphone. We'll spend time listening to participants during this project - using ongoing dialogue, and inviting feedback in lots of different ways and at different points - before, during and after our events. We'll discover more about how participants feel when they take part in Queer Diary, what they get out of the process, and what we can do to support them further into the long-term.

  • Whilst we've gathered feedback from audience/participants before, we have never done so on this scale, or gathered significant amounts of demographic data. Personal privacy, and identity-based questions can be sensitive for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and collecting this data is a responsibility that, for us, means more than simply knowing and understanding GDPR laws. Working with both a data expert, and partners who are experts in the needs of their communities will help us develop integrated data-collecting processes within the structure of Queer Diary in an organic and mindful way, keeping us informed without disrupting the participant/audience experience.

Next steps for 'Hasbian' 
"Visually superb. A Pandora's box of delightful personal gems"
- Hasbian Audience-member

We'll continue development of Hasbian, informed by our earlier work together, collaborating with our all-LGBTQIA+ team to create an excellent piece of theatre that's entertaining, socially engaged, and ready to be enjoyed by audiences across the UK.

We'll work on improving the quality and accessibility of the show, and showcase it for local London audiences, gaining our first reviews and press, ahead of planning a future national tour.

Improve accessibility

  • Work with a Creative Captioning Consultant to improve access for Deaf audiences. Specialist consultant Ben Glover will work with our creative team - particularly the Projection Designer, Sound Designer, Director & Dramaturg. Together they will work on integrating captions into the animated projections for Hasbian. Creative captions communicate not just the words in the script, but use different fonts, colours, and text size to convey the expression, volume, and musicality, ensuring that the nuances of the performance and sounds design can be fully experienced by Deaf people.

  • Create a visual story guide for Hasbian to improve access for neurodivergent and learning disabled audiences.

  • Continue work with our accessibility consultants, Quiplash, to ensure all Hasbian accessibility features are fully creatively integrated ahead of our London run, and adaptable for a future tour.

Week-long London Run

  • We'll rehearse Hasbian, working with our creative team to ensure all performance elements are polished to the highest possible quality, ahead of officially debuting  the 'final product'.

  • The show will be on for 6 performances at Omnibus Theatre. The experience of performing the show to 6 different live audiences will ensure the piece is in great shape to entertain audiences across the country.

  • At the start of the run we'll host a gala night, inviting influential voices in the LGBTQIA+ community, to maximise our opportunity to gain vital grassroots word-of-mouth endorsement from figures who are highly trusted by our target audiences, as well as mainstream press reviews.

  • We'll work with Omnibus to gather audience responses in a range of ways, including online & paper surveys, voice-notes, drawings, and vox-pops.

  • We'll work with a PR team to gain our first press and reviews of the show. Collectively, this coverage will be vital to helping us booking and marketing a full UK tour.

  • Alongside reviews, we'll seek opportunities ​for this project to be featured in the national press, using Pride Month (June) as the best time in the year to raise our profile with audiences.

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Feedback from participants & audiences 

“Excellent, genuine rapport with the audience. Honest and highly personal experience of growing up LGBTQ+” 

“Visually superb. A Pandora's box of delightful personal gems.” 

“A romp through complex sexuality, music, desire and drama.”

 “A celebration of bisexuality, and a representation of how difficult it is to identify yourself when bi-erasure is real.” 

“Beth is brilliant with the audience. I learnt loads about 1990's/00's teen culture.”

“As a bisexual who grew up in a similar time period this felt so relatable. I feel like I experienced what it could have been like growing up with more confidence in my non-straight sexuality”

“I am straight but this brought up so many teenage memories.” 

"One of the best shows I've seen this year"

"I haven't laughed as much as that in a long time."

"The kind of queer show that heals your soul"

"Very funny, and pure realness - we can all relate to crazy teen angst"

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