Originally planned for February 2021, Contact can now reveal the new dates for the festival – 29 April – 1 May.

Queer Contact began over a decade ago and has since become a staple of Manchester’s queer arts scene. The annual Vogue Ball, is a riotous head-to-head display of skills from Vogue houses across the North West, has become a legendary event. In February 2020, Vogue Ball was the last live event to be produced by Contact before the pandemic forced theatres across the UK to close down.

Tickets are already on sale for one of the highlights, a conversation with legendary TV writer Russell T Davies (It’s a Sin, Queer as Folk, Doctor Who) and It’s A Sin actor Nathaniel Hall. Nathaniel has already made waves in recent month around his activism on HIV, and together he and Davies will be discussing portrayals of HIV and AIDS on stage and screen.

As the Vogue Ball can’t return in physical format, Contact will be taking the party online. Cheddar Gorgeous, star of Channel 4’s Drag SOS, will be hosting an interactive cabaret featuring a diverse range of acts and faces, followed by a party with Manchester-based DJ collective RebeccaNeverBecky.

Meanwhile author Dean Atta, named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday, will be reading from and discussing his Stonewall Book Award-winning debut novel Black Flamingo.

Contact Theatre is well known for its commitment to young and early-career artists, and Queer Contact’s line-up is no exception. Several films by young, queer Manchester-based artists will premier during the festival, each exploring different elements of queer identity. Meanwhile, writer, poet and performer Ella Otomewo will be hosting a spoken word event, and musician Deanz will chat to vogue performer Oskar Marchock about queering dance hall music.

Contact’s President Carl Austin-Behan, formerly Manchester’s first openly gay Lord Mayor and current LGBTQ+ advisor to the Mayor of Greater Manchester, said “Queer Contact is an annual arts and culture celebration that promotes and highlights the creativity and expression of LGBTQ+ artists from across the world, and reflects the rich and honest diversity of our community.

Obviously due to Covid-19, Queer Contact 2021 will be online, but I am really excited about the programme of events taking place, and that tickets have already been selling fast for Russell T Davies in Conversation with Nathaniel Hall.”

 Cheddar Gorgeous commented, “I can’t wait for Contact’s audience to see what’s in store at Queer Contact this year. There’s some amazing artists involved already, and some that haven’t even been announced yet – so keep an eye out for more exciting names coming soon.”

All events are on sale now.


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