The Paradise Choir was a lesbian and gay choir formed in 1989. It evolved out of a community choir drawn together under my leadership for Gay Sweatshop‘s production Paradise Now and Then writtenby Noel Grieg (music by Richard Coles). During its short but illustrious life the choir sung at the Hackney Empire, Lilian Baylis Theatre, Conway Hall, London Lighthouse and had an impromptu carol singing moment in the Royal Festival Hall foyer bar.
Always unaccompanied and singing in four parts (occasionally more!) the repertoire ranged from madrigals to Fats Waller, from sacred to profane. Sung with humour, wit and a rebellious streak, The Paradise Choir reflected the spirit of the time – Section 28, HIV & aids and rehearsing at the long closed London Lesbian and Gay Centre.
Listen to the choir
Conway Hall concert 1991
Image: Duart Sylwain