Here are the LGBT shows not to miss at Manchester's Queer Contact Festival 2019

The 10th annual celebration of theatre, music, cabaret, film and clubbing gets underway his week.


Manchester is bursting with queerness of all varieties this February as LGBT History Month hits the region, bringing the best in poetry, performance, drama and debate.

Queer Contact has packaged up all its loveliness into one weekend and spread itself across the city, as the Contact venue itself is having a makeover.  So, there’s a little bit of something queer somewhere near. 

Mother’s Ruin opens the weekend on Friday 8 February at Waterside Arts in Sale. Timberlina hosts a sensational night of outrageous cabaret mayhem with an inter-stellar line up of Mother’s Bloomers’ rising stars converging with some favourite constellations from the Mother’s Ruin universe, creating a galaxy of irreverent and politically queer wit speckled in polished stardust spectacular. 

Also on opening night is No Kids at the Lowry in Salford, the latest hilarious, moving and thought-provoking play from the multi-award-winning Bristol based company, Ad Infinitum.

George and Nir are facing their biggest on trend lifestyle choice: should they have kids, or not?  George and Nir are a real-life couple trying to find this answer and are inviting an audience along as they grapple with the perplexing options.

Saturday afternoon is a good time for something chilled and so Outspoken returns at Number 70 in Manchester for a spellbinding afternoon of poetry and spoken word, curated and hosted by Mandla Rae.

This is a celebration of Manchester’s queer women and non-binary artists featuring Ella Otomewo, Maz Hedgehog, Bryony Bates and award-winning Afshan Lodhi.

Saturday night and we’re all set for The House of Suarez’s Vogue Ball at Manchester Academy 2.

Club culture meets high art, as Vogue Houses come together from far and wide to compete for dance supremacy in a catwalk spectacular reminiscent of 1970s/80s New York at its most glamorous.

Celebrating global vogue culture, an extravaganza of costume and drama will be displayed as the fiercest voguers and performers battle in this multi-award winning event.

LGBT History Month needs some hardcore history and there are two great history plays on offer, one from the 1980s and one from the 1880s. On Sunday 10 February, at the People’s History Museum in Manchester, there’s a rehearsed reading of First Rumours, a new play about Peter Tatchell. 

Tatchell first came to prominence as a Labour Party candidate in the Bermondsey by-election in 1983. It was the most homophobic campaign ever fought in British politics. But history isn’t always how you remember it…  LGBT rights superhero Tatchell will be attending and there’s a Q&A with him afterwards.

Stephen M Hornby, award-winning playwright, has unearthed another amazing, forgotten bit of our queer past and turned it into a play. And history has never looked so sexy. The Adhesion of Love tells the extraordinary true story of how an architect’s assistant from Bolton crossed the Atlantic in 1891 to meet the visionary queer poet Walt Whitman.

Image: Lee Baxter Photography

This gripping, moving, funny piece is sure to be a highlight as it tours across Greater Manchester as the official heritage premiere for LGBT History Month.

You can find details and tickets for Queer Contact Weekender 8-9 February here. Grab tickets for 'First Rumours' here and 'The Adhesion of Love' here.