Queer Contact Festival 2023

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Queer Contact 2023
Image courtesy of Ginny Lemon Sister Sister/ Contact.

Queer Contact Festival 2023 at Contact Theatre, Manchester 4 — 18 February 2023 Entrance is free — Visit now

Vibrant and bold, Contact continues its 50th anniversary year in style. Queer Contact Festival – the ultimate celebration of art and creativity in the LGBTQ+ community – returns to Contact Theatre for 2023.

Always a highlight in our cultural calendar, Queer Contact began 15 years ago and is a celebrated and popular event of Manchester’s queer arts scene. Running for two weeks this February, the groundbreaking festival will showcase a loaded line-up of theatre, comedy, live music, drag shows, spoken word, conversations and cabaret.

A celebrated and popular event of Manchester’s queer arts scene.

We’ve got the full lowdown on what you can expect at this year’s bumper edition of Queer Contact. Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will recognise season 2 stars Ginny Lemon and Sister Sister, who are stopping off at Contact as part of their ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’ tour. Meanwhile, actor and Contact alumni Fisayo Akinade (Heartstopper and Cucumber) will join Contact Artistic Director and CEO Keisha Thompson for an evening of conversation – exploring experiences that have influenced his life and career.

The House of Suarez Vogue Ball, a competitive dance battle between the Vogue Houses of the North West, is always a key event of the festival too. Expect to be transported back to the dazzling decade of disco for this year’s edition, hosted by the House of Suarez regular, Rikki Beadle-Blair and taking place at Manchester Academy.

Vibrant and bold, Contact continues its 50th anniversary year in style.

Further highlights of the festival include an evening of Doctor Who-inspired cosmic cabaret and comedy by Carrot and Friends, award-winning theatre company The Cocoa Butter Club and a performance by The Bitten Peach, the UK’s only gender-diverse Pan-Asian cabaret collective.

You’ll also find some of the North West’s finest queer spoken word artists and poets at Outspoken; while, lovers of drag should check out Lady Bushra. The line-up is completed by Edinburgh Fringe sensation Milly-Liu and Luke Hereford’s autobiographical musical adventure, Grandmother’s Closet.

Queer Contact Festival 2023 at Contact Theatre, Manchester 4 — 18 February 2023 Entrance is free Visit now

What's on at Contact Theatre

Hedda at Contact
Hedda at Contact

Ibsen’s complex tale of power, jealousy and manipulation has been reimagined by the Shropshire-based theatre company Here to There Productions.

from £20.00

Where to go near Queer Contact Festival 2023

Music venue
The Deaf Institute

The Deaf Institute is a vibrant gig venue and nightclub for which it is well worth taking a jaunt out of the Northern Quarter.

Catalog Bookshop

Find Peter and his Christiania cargo bike around All Saints Park, a hop, skip and a bunnyhop from Manchester Poetry Library.

Bar or Pub

Sandbar, just off Oxford Road in Manchester, is a well-loved watering hole, with a great selection of ales and some eccentric seating.

Johnny Roadhouse store
Johnny Roadhouse

Buffeted by fried chicken outlets, legendary musical instrument emporium Johnny Roadhouse has been serving the local music community for over 50 years.

Café or Coffee Shop
Eighth Day

Eighth Day is a co-operative shop that sells ethically-sourced food, wine and cosmetics. There’s also café that serves hearty, healthy meals in the basement.

Event venue
The Proud Place

Based in the heart of Manchester on Sidney Street, The Proud Place houses The Proud Trust and serves as a community hub for the wider LGBT+ population across Greater Manchester and beyond.

Utility Gift Shop
Utility Gift Shop

Utility Gift Shop on Oxford Road is all about products that are new, unique, quirky and cool. High street shopping at its best.

What's on: Theatre

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