Queer Contact 2021
Image courtesy of Drew Forsyth.

Queer Contact Festival 2021

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

An annual celebration of art and creativity in the LGBTQ+ community, we’re thrilled to hear Contact Theatre’s Queer Contact Festival will return for 2021. Ordinarily, the festival takes place in February every year, to coincide with LGBT+ History Month. However due to the coronavirus pandemic, the festival – featuring a fabulous programme of online events – will run in the spring of this year.

A highlight in the cultural calendar, Queer Contact began over ten years ago and is a beloved and popular event of Manchester’s queer arts scene. The House of Suarez Vogue Ball, a competitive dance battle between the Vogue houses of the North West, is always a highlight of the festival. However, in February 2020, Vogue Ball was the last live event to be produced by Contact before theatres were forced to close due to national lockdown restrictions.

All of the events will take place online, with a superb blend of shows, talks and explorations of queer culture, issues and personal histories. So get ready for everything, from discussions and cabaret acts to dance parties and spoken word, to be beamed into the comfort of your home.

Highlights of Queer Contact 2021 include a conversation, around portrayals of HIV and AIDS in stage and screen, with legendary TV writer Russell T Davies (It’s a Sin, Queer as Folk) and actor Nathaniel Hall. And as the Vogue Ball can’t return in live physical format, Contact will bring the party to you. Star of Channel 4’s Drag SOS, Cheddar Gorgeous will host an interactive cabaret online, followed by a party with Manchester-based collective RebeccaNeverBecky.

We’ll also be tuning in to hear from author Dean Atta, who will be reading from and discussing his Stonewall Book Award-winning debut novel Black Flamingo.

Contact Theatre is renowned for offering support to young people and early-career artists – Queer Contact’s line-up is no exception. Several films by young, queer Manchester-based artists will premiere at the festival, each exploring different elements of queer identity. Additionally, writer, poet and performer Ella Otomewo will be hosting a spoken word event, and musician Deanz will chat to vogue performer Oskar Marchock about queering dance hall music.

A fully digital four-day extravaganza exploring LGBTQ+ culture past, present and future. We can’t wait to see what’s in store.

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