Preview: Queer Contact 2023

Headline image: Dzifa, courtesy of Queer Contact

Yes, Queer Contact is back in Manchester, celebrating the venue’s 50th year in spectacular fashion! With a line-up of the UK’s most exciting LGBT+ talent, you’ll definitely not want to miss it.

From voguing to drag to poetry to a sexy Time Lord, this year’s festival has it all. This year’s programme runs 4-18 February, and between all the talks, events and shows, you’re spoilt for choice – but why choose? Go see everything!

Tickets can be found for all shows at the Contact website.

The line-up is as follows:

If you want to unleash your inner fabulous, House of Suarez: Vogue Ball (4 February) celebrates ballroom culture and its roots in Black and Latinx queer and trans culture. Vogue is ballroom’s purest expression, and the locals behind House of Suarez will show you how it’s done, Manchester-style.

Coming alone? Not to worry,Girl Gang MCR: Speed Mate-ing 2023 (6-7 February) is the perfect way to make new pals. It’s inspired by TV gameshows, bad busines meetings, teenage sleepovers and Art Attack.

If you’re in need of some nuttiness, The Cocoa Butter Club (9 February) has a fabulous slate of QTIPOC artists sure to moisten your dry patches.

Gallifrey Cabaret (10 February) is putting the gay in Time Lord with a cosmic evening of drag and cabaret. Who doesn’t fancy a bit of Doctor Ooh?

Because it’s LGBT+ History Month in the UK, Ladyfriends: Writing from LGBTQ+ History (10 February) sees writer and director Clodagh Chapman shed insight into making new work from queer history.

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Need a break from the cold snap and monster gas bills? The Bitten Peach: Peach Chutney (11 February) will jet you off (metaphorically speaking) on a trip that promises to be sexy, silly and sassy.

This year’s Outspoken & Outspoken Poetry Workshop (11 February) brings some of the North West’s finest queer poets and spoken word artists together for an evening of performance, and then a workshop to explore queer joy.

In 50 Things that Shaped Me with Fisayo Akinade (12 February), the Heartbreaker and Cucumber actor shares his experiences with Contact Artistic Director Keisha Thompson.

If you’re feeling curious, When All Is Said (13-17 February) sees five Black trans playwrights (Travis Alabanza, Felix Mufti-Wright, Octavia Nyombi, Ebun Sodipo and Campbell X) each present a short play via telephone while the audience gets to play eavesdropper on these intimate, revealing conversations.

Taking a peak inside Grandmother’s Closet (16 February) whisks you on a journey with Luke Hereford of queer self-discovery through their nan’s glamorous spirit.

If you’ve ever fancied a “one-man-cat-drag-late-night comedy show”, now’s your chance! An Audience with Milly-Liu (16 February) sees the infamous feline movie star (played by writer and performer François Pandolfo) spill the beans on celebrity pussies that she’s worked with, and there’s a lot to chew on.

For a little bit of glamour from across the Pennines, check out Lady Bushra: Robbed (17 February). The much-younger-than-she-looks-honest drag icon and comedian tells all about her life as Bradford’s preeminent South Asian “Karen”.

For the film buffs, Dzifa: Watch Party (18 February) is a short film that takes you on an intimate and rhythmic journey, directed by Savannah Acquah.

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Finally, it you need a bit of tart as a palate cleanser, Ginny Lemon & Sister Sister (18 February) promise to bring you the most disappointing drag show you’ve ever seen!

Queer Contact 2023 looks to be a festival to remember, so don’t wait to book your tickets and celebrate being LGBT+ in style!

Tickets, prices and full show details can be found at the Contact website.