Turn On Fest at Hope Mill Theatre

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Turn On Fest at Hope Mill Theatre
Image courtesy of Turn On Fest/ Hope Mill Theatre.

Turn On Fest at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester, 14 January–1 February 2020 - Book now

A new LGBTQ+ theatre festival will run for three weeks this January at Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre. Turn On Fest is the result of an exciting collaboration between Hope Mill, Superbia, the masterminds behind cultural programming at Manchester Pride, and theatre company Mother’s Ruin.

Featuring four exciting new commissions, Turn On Fest promises to be a fabulous showcase of LGBTQ+ arts and culture. With a full programme of theatre, spoken word, music, vogue, scratch nights and much more, the festival is sure to get 2020 off to a vibrant start. Hope Mill is already recognised as a thriving space for LGBTQ+ work and Turn On Fest is the first arts festival to be hosted by the venue.

Another impressive and much-needed addition to the LGBTQ+ cultural calendar.

Following a call-out for artists – which received an incredible response – new commissions announced for the festival are Twisted Bollywood; a ‘pay what you feel’ devised performance focusing on LGBT marriage and the possibilities around arranging a queer marriage; As British as a Watermelon by spoken word artist Mandla Rae, examining life as an illegal human, self-preservation and the lasting effects of trauma and displacement; written and performed by Jason Andrew Guest, Mind Games is an exploration of what happens behind closed doors, through music and movement. Completing the line-up of new commissions is Nobody’s Watching; a dance show featuring five artists from Manchester’s LGBT community. Five brand new solo pieces will be woven together with music and audio commentary. With an emphasis on the empowerment of dance, this inspirational piece seeks to examine the complex relationship between the LGBT community and traditional dance characteristics and formalities.

A fabulous showcase of LGBTQ+ arts and culture.

Bringing glorious cabaret and performance, we’re thrilled that Mother’s Ruin will also feature in the festival. Celebrating over a decade of producing regional Queer performance, the company will present Mother’s Ruin: Speaks and Mother’s Ruin: Shows.

Manchester-based Qweerdog Theatre are another highlight of the festival. A favourite at the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, they will revive their first show Absolute Certainty? for Turn On Fest.

Do check out the full programme listings. We think that Turn On Fest makes another impressive and much-needed addition to the LGBTQ+ cultural calendar.

Turn On Fest at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester

14 January–1 February 2020

Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.

Here’s our guide to supporting organisations in Manchester and the North.

Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.