A textured paper collage of the interior of a pub. A window with a leopard print curtain shows a view of Cambridge Market. A paper character is propped up on a bar. He has brown hair, a long mustache, and is wearing a beige suit with buttons. Empty and full beer glasses are scattered in front of him, with one in his hand, his other hand holds a sign up sheet. Above a sign reads: ‘GAYSOC’, and a white box with text reads: ‘Sean’s Story, Online Screening, 14 May, 7pm’


14 May 2024, 7pm

Join us on Tuesday 14 May at 7pm for the online screening of Sean’s Story, an animation that brings to life an interview with Sean Barker in which he shares his queer coming of age story. 

Sean grew up in Barrow and first shared his story in an interview with Theatre Factory in 2022 as part of its on-going support of Barrow’s LGBTQI+ community. The original interview, by Rachel Ashton and Karen Evans, was created to inform a piece for their Queer Cabarets.

Karen edited Sean’s story into a script and made paper puppets to create the video, lifting Sean’s story out of the ordinary and into the universal.

The navigation of working class queerness is a powerful story of everyday gay folk, art, and survival.



The screening will be shown here and will include a short introduction. It will last for approximately 25 minutes and will be available to watch afterwards.

If you are experiencing any technical difficulties, please see our Watching Notes.


Assistant Keira Hall in a shirt with a mushroom pattern, lots of bracelets, and pink/orange dyed hair in pigtails, reaching across a table to move a paper puppet of Batman on an orange paper background with black grid windows.THE MAKING

Rachel Ashton and Karen Evans of Theatre Factory, initially interviewed Sean at his home in Manchester. The whole recording was transcribed by Peter Løvstrøm and from this, Karen edited down the story into a script. 

Rachel, Karen and Phill Gregg then returned to Sean’s place to record the majority of the narration. Karen and Phill worked with Keira Hall on the animation process; they kept it playful by improvising, bringing spontaneity into the process. The film was edited by Phill, with Karen working as a pair of fresh eyes to view the progress, and offer notes and insights.



Theatre Factory is a participatory performing arts company formed in 1997 by the current Artistic Director, Rachel Ashton, to provide a place in Barrow-in-Furness for people, especially young people, to come and make original, new drama and narratives.  

Its work starts in the Community, moves up through Youth Theatre, and on into professional practice. Theatre Factory is interested in how the Performing and Associated Arts can help people and communities grow stronger.

Queer in Furness is an evolving programme that began in 2019 to support Queer performers and creatives through commissioning work whilst also nurturing local emerging talent from bands, poets, and drag artists.

Sean’s Story was shown at Queer in Furness’ yearly cabaret as part of ‘Lived Lives’ which documents Queer experience as it is lived.

Find out more about Art Gene’s current online programme Still Remote here.


An animation that flicks between two paper figures that look like they are dancing with arms and legs bent into a wiggle, and two paper policemen with very straight arms and legs in front of a police car.

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