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Queer Contact festival returns


The Cocoa Butter Club
The Cocoa Butter Club

Contact Theatre in Manchester has announced the line-up for its 50th anniversary Queer Contact LGBTQ+ festival.

The February 4-18 event's include Drag Show UK’s Ginny Lemon and Sister Sister, an evening in conversation with Heartstopper and Cucumber actor and Contact alumni Fisayo Akinade, and the return of the annual Vogue Ball as part of a full programme of spoken word, lip-synching, cabaret and comedy.

The House of Suarez Vogue Ball kicks off this year’s festival on February 4: a night of high kicks, high camp and high energy at Manchester Academy, this year with a disco theme.

Ginny Lemon and Sister Sister
Ginny Lemon and Sister Sister

Breakout stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season two, Ginny Lemon and Sister Sister, make their debut at Queer Contact 2023 by bringing (February 18) the "most disappointing drag show you’ve ever seen" as part of their You Keep Me Hanging On tour. Their first joint stage show promises to be hilarious – if average...

Actor Fisayo Akinade explores the things that have influenced his life and career in another festival highlight, In Conversation (February 12) , with Contact artistic director

Fisayo Akinade
Fisayo Akinade

and CEO, Keisha Thompson. Fisayo, who is a past mem-ber of Contact Young Company, is enjoying a flourishing TV and theatre career, with roles in Banana and Tofu, Atlanta, Fresh Meat, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as theatrical roles in The Crucible, Romeo and Juliet, The Antipodes, Antony and Cleopatra and Barber Shop Chronicles, all at the National Theatre.

Two words you thought you may never see in the same sentence, "Queer" and "Tardis", take their place on the Queer Contact programme for Gallifrey Cabaret (February 10), a night of Doctor Who-inspired entertainment by Carrot and Friends.

Other cabaret and comedy highlights include a night with the Cocoa Butter Club (February 9) – an award-winning company

Luke Hereford in Grandmother's Closet
Luke Hereford in Grandmother's Closet

showcasing performers of colour; The Bitter Peach’s Peach Chutney Crew (February 11) - the UK’s only gender-diverse Pan-Asian cabaret collective and Luke Hereford (February 16), who in Grandmother's Closet brings autobiographical musical adventures on a journey of queer self-discovery – via the glamorous spirit of his grandma.

Contact artistic director Keisha Thompson said “Our flagship festival has been central to our vision for over a decade and will continue to cement our spot on Manchester’s cultural map. As we celebrate our 50th birthday in 2023, Queer Contact presents a huge spectrum of queer experience; focusing on kindness, community and celebration.”


More info, a full list of shows and tickets here


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