Krishna Istha is a London based writer, comedian, live artist and theatre maker. Their performance work looks at transformations (physical, political, collaborative), gender politics & queer culture using subversive text and comedy. They have performed and collaborated extensively on socially engaged works that span across theatre, opera, comedy and performance art across UK, Germany, Australia and USA. 

Select performance credits include Bullish (2016-2018, National Tour UK); Wild Bore (2017-current, Malthouse Theatre Melbourne, Sydney Festival, Traverse Theatre- Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Soho Theatre London, Skirball Centre New York, Sophiensaele Berlin); Sex Worker’s Opera (2015-2018, Pleasance Theatre London, Campagnie Theatre Amsterdam); The Butch Monologues (2014-2018, Across the UK and New York City). Recently, they have performed in Adrienne Truscott’s Still Asking For It (The Public Theatre, New York) and Gender Euphoria (Arts Centre, Melbourne). Currently, they’re co-writing a new play with Travis Alabanza and Emma Frankland commissioned by Roundhouse (London) set to be performed by a company of young trans actors as part of the main season.

Equality Australia Interview with Krishna Istha: COVID-19 and the LGBTIQ+ Arts Scene

Why are cultural events so important to the LGBTIQ+ community during isolation?

Many of us might be in isolation in less than ideal circumstances. As someone who grew up with the internet, I know I took a lot of solace in my youth in finding community and solidarity online. Much like many others, interacting with content created by queer people made me feel less trapped and alone. The number of YouTube videos I’ve watched on repeat as a teenager- good god, my mum really should get an award for putting up with that! But I think all of us could do with that sense of online community right now, whilst we can’t congregate in person in our respective clans.

On one hand, this period of isolation feels equalising. When I’m not around other people, I’m no longer trans or queer or Indian or any other identity that might be placed on me. In isolation, I am just me. I have never thought of being trans less, which is very relaxing to be honest. But on the other hand, this pandemic and period of quarantine highlights how inequality bleeds into every corner- and those who suffer in a pandemic will always be those who are marginalised despite it. 

What’s one thing that’s been helping you get though this period?

The one thing that gets me up and showered in the morning is –you guessed it– TV BOX SETS!  Here’s all my top recommendations if you’re looking for something to watch (I am very serious about TV shows and I have seriously good taste, seriously!). “Watch TV, be happy.” I think that’s a saying. Someone said that.

  • Work In Progress (Stan)
  • Bossy Bottom by Zoe Coombs Marr (Stan)
  • Feel Good by Mae Martin (Netflix)
  • Derry Girls (Netflix)
  • Motherland (BBC)
  • The Politician (Netflix)
  • Kim’s Convenience (Netflix)
  • Everything’s Gonna Be Okay (Stan). 

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