FULL LINE UP ANNOUNCED FOR COLLABORATIVE LGBTQ+ THEATRE FESTIVAL LAUNCHED BY HOPE MILL THEATRE & SUPERBIA AND SUPPORTED BY ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND
RUNNING THIS MONTH, TURN ON FEST IS A SHOWCASE OF LGBTQ+ ARTS AND FEATURES FOUR NEW COMMISSIONS
The full line up has been announced for TURN ON FEST, a new LGBTQ+ theatre festival running for three weeks this month at Hope Mill Theatre – a collaboration between the venue and Manchester Pride’s cultural programming arm Superbia, and theatre company Mother’s Ruin.
This month will see a full programme of theatre, spoken word, music, vogue, scratch nights and much more at the Ancoats venue, which recently began operating as a charitable organisation.
TURN ON FEST will be a showcase of Manchester-based LGBTQ+ artists, theatre, cabaret, panel discussions, development workshops and much more. It is the first arts festival to be hosted by Hope Mill Theatre – already a thriving venue for established LGBTQ+ work.
It includes a variety of programming from Superbia, Manchester Pride’s year-round cultural programme designed to curate, fund, support and promote LGBTQ+ events. The festival is supported by Arts Council England.
The festival includes four new commissions, which are also announced today.
These are as follows:
Monday 20th January, 5:00pm. Twisted Bollywood. Pay What You Feel. With LGBT marriage legalised would it be possible to arrange a queer marriage? What would the conversation be, between two mothers who are tasked to arrange their children’s marriage? Twisted Bollywood will workshop and devise the possibilities and share with the audience their findings.
Monday 20th January, 7:30pm As British as a Watermelon. Tickets £8/£6 (conc). In As British as a Watermelon, Mandla gives a glimpse into the life of a previously illegal human, picks apart trauma and the long-lasting effects of shame. They become obsessed with watermelons and self-preservation in this spoken word exploration of displacement.
Tues 21 January, 7.30pm: Mind Games. Tickets £8/£6 (conc). Based on true events, Mind Games is an exploration of what goes on behind closed doors through music and dance. Performed and Written by Jason Andrew Guest.
Thursday 23 January, 7.30pm: Nobody's Watching. Tickets £8/£6 (conc). Five dancers from Manchester’s LGBT community return to dance to tell stories on their own terms. Five new solo pieces are stitched together with music and audio commentary focusing on the empowerment of dance and the complex relationship of the LGBT community to the formalities and traditions of the dance world. These artists are reclaiming an art form for themselves with a new approach that honours their own bodies and their own inspirations.
Also featuring in the festival, and in celebration of a decade of producing regional Queer performance, Mother’s Ruin will present Mother’s Ruin: Speaks and Mother’s Ruin: Shows – on Saturday 18 and Saturday 25 January at 7.30pm. Two consecutive Saturday nights of glorious Queer cabaret and performance by LGBTQ+ artists from Manchester and beyond.
Another highlight will be Manchester-based Qweerdog Theatre, presenting Absolute Certainty? playing from Tuesday 28 January to Saturday 1 February. A favourite from the Greater Manchester Fringe, it is being revived for TURN ON FEST.
View the full program listings here: www.hopemilltheatre.co.uk
Joseph Houston, Artistic Director of Hope Mill Theatre, said: “We are proud to be hosting our first ever arts festival at Hope Mill Theatre opening our doors to a wider demographic of LGBTQ+ artists in Manchester.
“We are also thrilled to be supporting four Manchester-based artists with a funded commission of a new piece of theatre. After a call out - which received an incredible response - we worked with Superbia to choose a group of four artists to work on an idea and see it through to a short staged piece of work. From dance, to spoken word to the idea for a new play, we can’t wait to share these exciting pieces which hopefully one day will be seen through to a fully realised production.”
“We hope that the festival will eventually become an annual event for our great city.”
Greg Thorpe, Project Manager for Superbia at Manchester Pride, said: "Superbia at Manchester Pride works with LGBTQ artists all year round and we are so excited to support this new platform to share their work at one of our favourite venues in the city. We will be co-curating the TURN ON FEST for 2020 and we know it will be a thrilling and necessary addition to our queer arts calendar."
Turn up, turn heads, see a turn, take a turn!