On-sale from Friday 13 November, 10am. Tickets from £3 plus free events and exhibitions.
Booking and information: 0161 274 0600 / http://www.contactmcr.com/queercontact Contact, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6JA
Celebrating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender arts and culture in Greater Manchester as part of LGBT History Month, the eighth annual Queer Contact Festival is bigger than ever, with a packed ten-day programme of events.
Expect theatre, music, dance, cabaret, comedy, spoken word, and visual art at Contact and beyond, including new collaborations with HOME, RNCM, and Band on the Wall, alongside a special site-specific performance in partnership with the Royal Exchange Theatre staged in a Manchester church.
This year’s festival explores sexuality, gender, religion, and history, with local, national and international artists including Erasure’s Andy Bell, US transgender performers and activists Kate Bornstein and Our Lady J, award- winning poet Jackie Kay, visual artists AL and AL (in collaboration with BBC Philharmonic), plus new festival commissions from Debs Gatenby, Laurie Brown, and Jamie Fletcher and Company.
Music opens and closes the festival with a new song-cycle from Erasure’s Andy Bell is Saint Torsten at Contact; Icarus at the End of Time (co-presented with HOME at RNCM) features a new score by Philip Glass, performed live by the BBC Philharmonic with visuals from artists AL and AL; and US transgender singer-songwriter Our Lady J (one of the writers of Amazon’s Transparent) paints the church pink for Valentine’s weekend with For The Love of Gospel at Contact.
Elsewhere, there’s new theatre exploring Black gay experiences from Jamal Gerald in FADoubleGOT, Eilidh MacAskill’s STUD is a comedic look at gender and masculinity from the queer female perspective, legendary trans playwright and performer Jo Clifford leads the congregation in The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven, and we explore the history of Manchester drag performance in Life’s A Drag.
Experience alternative cabaret from Mother’s Ruin, A Queer Revue! and The Library; laugh your socks off with some of the UK’s top comics including Tom Allen, Bethany Black, David Morgan, Suzi Ruffell, and Rosie Wilby at Comedy Playground; have your voice heard at LGBT Question Time and the Queer Youth Debate; and join in with workshops led by Jackie Kay and Kate Bornstein.
This year’s visual art programme will feature new work from local and national visual artists – Lee Baxter commemorates the 30th anniversary of North West HIV charity George House Trust in George Turns 30, Glenn Jones depicts Manchester’s thriving drag community in #ManchesterQueens, and there’s photography and film exploring the lives of Black gay sex workers by Ajamu and Khalil West (all at Contact), plus a major new solo exhibition from AL and AL (at HOME) investigating a new era of scientific exploration in Incidents of Travel in the Multiverse.