A Croydon group is planning a celebration of gay history with an evening of readings.

Croydon Area Gay Society (CAGS) will be holding the event on Monday, February 5 at the Warehouse Theatre, Dingwall Road.

Two short pieces showing how gay people's lives have improved over the last 50 years will be read.

The event is being hosted in association with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month - a national celebration of LGBT history throughout February.

The evening will include a reading of Rid England of this Plague - taken from Rex Batten's autobiographical novel of the same name.

Rid England of this Plague is set in a period when the Home Secretary had promised to rid England of homosexuality. The prologue will be read by the author himself who will also be answering questions.

The evening's second reading will be an extract from Beautiful Thing, Jonathan Harvey's acclaimed play about two young men coming to grips with their sexuality.

Ross Burgess, secretary of CAGS, said: "We're grateful to the Warehouse Theatre for allowing us to put on this event, and to Rex Batten for coming to support us in person.

"We understand that the Metropolitan Police are interested in using Rid England of this Plague in their training materials, as an example of the bad old days' of police attitudes to gay people."

Although there will be no charge for the evening, there will be a collection in aid of the Warehouse Theatre which is under threat since Croydon Council decided to withdraw the Dingwall Road playhouse's grant.

For more information on CAGS go to cags.org.uk or for more on LGBT History Month go to lgbthistory month.org.uk.