Contact’s reputation is built on two things. Firstly, it offers unique, inspiring and important shows that you simply wouldn’t see at any of Manchester’s other major theatres. Secondly, it puts young people at the heart of its decision making process, meaning kids not only star on Contact’s stages but also select what appears on those stages in the first place.
So, it’s great to see that once again Contact is putting young people at the heart of its programming, this time as part of Queer Contact. Queer Youth Gathering will see the North West’s young LGBT descend on Contact for an afternoon of discussion and debate, with films, performances and visual arts to enjoy. The whole thing is hosted by compère extraordinaire Sarah Emmott – a performer who has more energy than a box of fireworks doused in paraffin – and Cosmopolitan columnist Rachel Morris.
But this isn’t just young people talking among themselves: artists, academics, councillors, broadcasters and other bigwigs from across the region will be in attendance to find out what they have to say. Guests include George Ikediashi (Le Gateau Chocolat), Maawan Rizwan (BBC Three’s How Gay Is Pakistan?), Annie Wallace (Hollyoaks), Bev Craig (Manchester City Council), Romario Wanliss (PureGender), Chloe Cousins (Rainbow Noir), Dr Monica Pearl (University of Manchester) and the one and only Kate O’Donnell.