TWO of the best parties in Scotland have landed in Edinburgh after theatre makers brought their new shows to the capital.

Ode To Joy (How Gordon got to go to the nasty pig party) by James Ley and Gayboys by Craig Manson have been awarded funding by Made in Scotland to take their performances to the Fringe.

Ley’s show focuses on identity and community, while Manson looks at capitalism’s exploitation of queer bodies.

Both, however, are bound by their love of partying.

Ode to Joy. Photo: Tommy Ga-Ken WanGayboys explores capitalism's exploitation of queer bodies. Credit: Brian Hartley

Ode To Joy follows a Scottish Government lawyer working on a post-Brexit report when he finds himself in a queer sex party in Berlin.

Promising live music – DJ Simonotron – throughout the show, the work is an ode to nightclubs and togetherness after the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Gayboys by Glasgow-based performance artist Manson, is a movement piece set to a “banging” soundtrack with Charli XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen and a host of other pop artists.

Its maker said it’ll be a “fun, gay party” and an exploration into the way some businesses use queer bodies and identities for their own gain.

Manson told The National: “I want to explore how ‘gayness’ is both celebrated and exploited by corporations for profit.

“The show looks at the full colourful mess – the glitz and glitter and the fun of loud gay music.”

Manson’s show takes a tongue-in-cheek look at what’s become known as “rainbow capitalism” or “pinkwashing”.

He said: “If you want to watch it and interpret it in a political way, you can, but if you also just want to come and see the big, fun, gay dance show, you can. It’s been designed to just be a really fun night out.”

The show tackles the contrasting views on LGBT support from corporations, particularly during Pride.

Ode to Joy. Photo: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

“We celebrate queerness in one way, but we also exploit it in another way,” he said. “The show isn’t saying it’s good or bad, it’s exploring how it is really good in some ways, and in other ways, it’s a bit problematic.

“But at the same time, it’s like, isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t this what we’ve always wanted, to be visible? But that usually only happens for the month of June, and then it’s done.”

Meanwhile, Ley’s show explores love and friendship through Gordon, a “pathological bore”.

“I really wanted to write something that was unapologetic about queer culture and particularly gay male culture, which can often have a lot of shame attached to it, even by the community,” he told The National.

“In this case, it’s nightclubs that have a sex element to them. I wanted to write something that was funnier and more celebratory and honest about the experience.

“I wanted to write a kind of Stand By Me meets Disco Pigs.”

Ode to Joy. Photo: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Ode To Joy is a right of passage tale for young queer people, a narrative, Ley says, the LGBT community has been largely shut out of.

He said: “There are seven stories in the world but gay people really only get the coming-out story.

“And that’s supposed to be enough for us? We need just as many stories about finding out who you are.

“All these stories that have been denied to us through centuries of oppression need to be given to us.”

Ley, who is based in Edinburgh, hopes his work will help battle rising tides of homophobia in parts of the world, and add to the growing number of plays lending more voices to the experiences of LGBT people.

He said: “One of my personal objectives as an artist is to decontaminate people from homophobia, rather than just carrying messages.

“I like to expose them to the fact that they are not actually homophobic when they’re confronted with the material.

“Often, they’re told that they’re homophobic, but they actually find that they’re not.”

“I think there’s so much breadth to the queer experience.

“It’s our turn to get to speak after so long of being silenced.

“I know people get fed up with queer issues, but we’re going to keep making more work, so get used to it.”