Contact has announced the line up for its Queer Contact Weekender (marking LGBT History Month 2019). This year’s LGBTQ+ arts and culture celebration will run as a compact weekender from Friday 8th to Saturday 9th February, in a variety of venues across the city, featuring some of the best-loved elements of the annual festival, finishing with the famous Manchester Vogue Ball.
Ahead of the Weekender to kick start Contact’s In the City Part 3 programme, Bristol-based theatre company Ad Infinitum bring their latest hilarious and thought-provoking play, ‘No Kids’ to The Lowry on Friday 1st February, the show explores the chaotic social anxieties of same sex parenting.
‘No Kids’ tells the story of same sex couple, George and Nir, navigating their way through the trials and challenges of parenting outside of the hetero-normal world. From adoption and surrogacy to co-parenting and childbirth – this hilarious, moving and heart-felt play confronts and addresses these ethical and life-changing decisions head-on. A post-show discussion will also take place – with cast and creatives – to continue the debate and hopefully share all too familiar anecdotes.
Opening the Festival Weekender in style on Friday 8th February at Waterside in Sale, the much loved ‘Mother’s Ruin’ family, in association with Contact, Royal Exchange Theatre and Waterside Arts. An inter-stellar line-up of Mother’s Bloomers rising stars perform alongside some of Mother’s Ruin favourites, expect a galaxy of irreverent and politically queer wit, sprinkled with a touch of stardust.
On the morning of Saturday February 9th, Contact host an Open Forum inviting the public to able to have their say on the future of Queer Contact in conversation with Festival staff, artists and young people. All opinions and suggestions are welcome as the team start to re-imagine the Festival from 2020 onwards and share new commissioning opportunities for creating new shows.
Festival Saturday continues into the afternoon at YES, where Glasgow/Berlin based live artist Nima Séne and curator Tuna Erdem from the Istanbul Queer Art Collective present performingborders – LIVE. Expect a lively and timely discussion focusing on the exploration of the personal, the cultural and the physical and an understanding of how their queer, migrant and PoC identities shape their work. Both events are free to attend but reserving a place is advisable.
Outspoken returns to Queer Contact this year, on Saturday 9th February at Number 70, for a spellbinding and packed programme of poetry and spoken word performances. Manchester poet, Mandla-Rae, hosts the up and coming Ella Otomewo, Billie Meredith, Maz Hedgehog and Bryony Bates who all take their words to the stage for a celebration of Manchester’s queer women and non-binary artists.
Club culture meets high art in the concluding Queer Contact Festival event on Saturday night – as Vogue Houses from far and wide return to Manchester to compete and battle for dance supremacy in House of Suarez and Contact’s highly acclaimed and multi award-winning Vogue Ball. Celebrate global vogue culture, an extravaganza of costume and drama in this fierce and fantastic catwalk spectacular reminiscent of 1970s/80s New York at its’ most glamorous.
Artistic Director at Contact, Matt Fenton said:
“We are really excited to launch our Queer Contact Festival Weekender. While building work continues apace on the refurbishment of our iconic building on Oxford Road, including a new cabaret and music venue, it’s great to continue our journey across the city. We’re working with familiar faces and festival favourites alongside new partners and venues to showcase our work with UK and international queer artists. We’re thrilled to be welcoming back Mother’s Ruin and the stunning Manchester Vogue Ball, as well as offering important platforms to new and emerging voices.”