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RAID: Operation Soap

Written, directed and produced by Raymond Helkio with David Bateman, starring Keith Cole and Johnny Salib, featuring Paul Bellini, Brock Hessel and Amy J. Lester.

An unconventional love story about two of the men that were arrested and how their horrific experience changed the course of LGBT history, marking the birth of Pride day.

Buddies In Bad Times Theatre presents
QUEER PRIDE 2016 (June 12 – July 3)
Festival Sponsor: TD Bank Group

RAID: Operation Soap is now in print!
An unconventional love story about the 1981 bathhouse raids.Available through Glad Day Bookshop and Amazon.



Towels Off For Pride, Paul Bellini,
“David Bateman and Raymond Helkio have written a new play, with music by Stewart Borden and starring local legend Keith Cole. It will play June 29 at Buddies. You can show your support right now by visiting their GoFundMe page and consider pitching in towards the costs of producing the show independently. And definitely make time to see the show. Even if you’re too young to remember the bathhouse raids, the sight of Keith Cole in a towel will be worth it.”

RAID: Operation Soap, June 9, 2016
Daily Xtra, Do young Grindr gays know Toronto LGBT history?
“As part of Buddies In Bad Times Theatre’s Queer Pride programming, RAID: Operation Soap is an unconventional love story about two the men that experienced the infamous raids. Written and directed by Raymond Helkio with David Bateman, music by Stewart Borden, and starring Keith Cole and Johnny Salib, the play is based around a Bette Midler–inspired character who allows us to reconnect to a significant historical event in a way that is as entertaining as it is heart-breaking.”

Scene Changes, June 27, 2016
“Director Raymond Helkio talks about what inspired Raid: Operation Soap… “This story is about an unlikely activist whose personal transformation happens in the face of unforgivable brutality” says director Raymond Helkio who co-wrote the play with David Bateman. “Whenever I hear people referencing the bathhouse raids it’s almost always with a certainty of how things played out, but there was no certainty about anything, life for the LGBT community had been overshadowed by mounting fear and doubt for years leading up to the raids.” Read more.

Drew Rowsome, June 30, 2016
“Contemporary larger than life Canadian queer icon Keith Cole presents a version of  Raymond Helkio and David Bateman‘s Operation Soap in the Alexander St Parkette dramatizing the horror and righteous-inducing anger that were the bathhouse raids, while Bruce LaBruce launches a DJ set complete with projections on the Church-Wellesley BIA ‘Circus So Gay’ Stage”