A new festival that puts Chester’s LGBTQIA+ community centre-stage is coming to Storyhouse this month (February 24-26).
Storyhouse Queer, in partnership with Chester Pride and members of the community - comes in response to demand from groups in the city and beyond, and features three days of film, theatre and workshops. The festival opens with headliners Ginny Lemon and Sister Sister, the breakout stars of season two of RuPaul’s Drag Race, who are trying to bring you the "most disappointing drag show you’ve ever seen". A Feeling Fabulous Dance Workshop will give the chance to pose and work the catwalk like a supermodel with Ghetto Fabulous, followed by a special Family Catwalk Extravaganza. The festival continues with Breathe Academy, designed for ages 12 – 25, featuring international beatboxing star and theatre-maker SK Shlomo. The workshop will teach participants how to explore their own story using some of the music technology and performance skills on show in the award-winning solo show Breathe, which closes the festival on the Saturday. At a Patch Workshop you can join members of Radiate Arts CIC, who will teach simple embroidery – and help to create a special patch representing links to queer culture. Chester Pride will run a special workshop to teach people how to intervene safely if they witness a hate crime, harassment, verbal or physical assault. On the main stage, Chester LGBT+ choir Proud Mary’s is led by Chester-based musical director, Matt Baker. On February 26 there’s a chance to Be a Better Ally. The session will be run by Chester Pride and give practical tips on how to support vulnerable people and communities. This will be followed by a banner-making session with Manchester-based textile artist and researcher, Sarah-Joy Ford. The weekend also includes films in the Storyhouse Cinema. The arts venue's communities manager, George West, said: “This is the first Storyhouse Queer, but the plan is to make this a yearly, week-long event. “What we’ve aimed to do this time is to have a variety of work, so hopefully everyone will find something of appeal. What we’d really like then is for people to come along and tell us what else they might want to see at the next one to give us more ideas and perhaps get involved.”
Info and tickets here