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Queer Contact Festival 2014

Manchester's top arts organisation gets ready for LGBT History Month

Contact, Manchester's leading arts organisation for young people, celebrates LGBT History month. 2014 marks Queer Contact's fifth birthday and its biggest ever festival with nine days of shows, workshops, debates, and events from 06 February Till 15 February 2014.

The Contact Theatre will be hosting internationally renowned musicians, with performances from Joey Arias and Opera North and The Tiger Lillies. Including club nights such as Off the Hook, Pop Curious?, Bollox, Tranarchy and The Sisters Gorgeous.

The opening night of Queer Contact features the talented Joey Arias and Kristian Hoffman with Lighting Strikes. Arias and singer/songwriter Kristian celebrate the life of the late German counter-tenor Klaus Nomi, Along with a Nomi song or two, the show features 70s rock anthems, popular standards, original material and Arias’ signature ‘channeling’ of Billie Holiday.

As the festival progresses the one and only Pam Van Dammed presents a daily (except Sunday) free exhibition titled World Warpaint. World Warpaint is a look into the fun, obsessive, insane and perfect world of self-expression and character through make-up, and will feature subjects such as Debbie Harry, Lene Lovich, KISS, Christeene, Lydia Lunch, Honey Mahogany, SSION and Saul Williams as well as subjects from the LGBT community of Manchester.

Aiming to please is the outstanding and creative Darren Suarez with the House Of Suarez Vogue Ball. That arrives in Manchester for the very first time. Club culture meets high art as Vogue Houses come together from far and wide to compete for dance supremacy, and the intimate confines of Contact’s studio is transformed into a catwalk spectacular reminiscent of 1970s/80s New York at its most glamorous. The House of Suarez Vogue Ball will also be leading free vogue classes as part of Queer Contact and if it’s anything to go by from the videos on YouTube they know exactly how to WORK BITCH!

Also gracing the Queer Contact Festival is renowned author and poet Jackie Kay who joins young writers in a celebration of the written word. Elly Barnes discusses the issues facing LGBT young people, as well as three local theatre companies coming together to shine a light on human rights abuses in Russia, on the opening weekend of the Sochi Winter Olympics. Jonathon Mayor hosts a special Comedy Playground with acts including Craig Hill and Zoë Lyons.

Queer Contact Festival is a must attend, showcasing amazing talent from the LGBT community through music, art, dance and spoken word, it is not one to be missed.

Check out their website for the full listings of the events and information.

Words: Jack Rear/Benjamin Butterworth

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