Breaking from the tradition of a week-long festival, this year’s LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture celebration will run as a compact weekender from Friday 8th-Saturday 9th February, in various venues across the city and featuring some of the best-loved elements of the annual festival, concluding with THE famous Manchester Vogue Ball.
As a trailblazer event ahead of the Weekender, and to kick start Contact’s In the City Part 3 programme, multi-award-winning Bristol-based theatre company Ad Infinitum bring their latest hilarious and thought-provoking play, No Kids to The Lowry on Friday 1st February, exploring the chaotic social anxieties of same-sex parenting.
Described as “We need to talk about Kevin on acid “ (Total Theatre), 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 heartfelt 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 will be 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!
Tickets are now on sale for Queer Contact’s Festival Weekender. Please click here for the full list of theatre, spoken word, dialogues and live art, from Manchester’s most exciting and provocative theatre.
Queer Contact Festival
Venue: Contact Theatre, YES + more
Date: Friday 8th – Saturday 9th February