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Qtopia Sydney Announces Pride Fest Program for June

April 23, 2024

Qtopia Sydney, the largest Centre for Queer history and culture in the world, has launched the inaugural season of Pride Fest at our flagship theatre, The Loading Dock, and our wonderfully unique Substation.

Taking over both venues, Pride Fest received many applications from some of the most talented LGBTQIA+ artists from around Australia. Due to the astounding response and expressions of interest, Qtopia Sydney has expanded the program to run for the full 30 days of June.

Acts are multi-genre and include performances from theatre makers, cabaret performers, drag artists, comedians, A Capella groups and more. The festival also includes poignant discussions from literary events and Qtopia Sydney’s first panel talk, Fearless Voices. All events speak directly to Qtopia Sydney’s core mission of storytelling and represent expression through both celebration and commemoration.

Artistic Director, Carly Fisher said, “It is an honour to have so many acts participate in the festival and in turn, to be able to contribute to the cultural life of one of the most vibrant and vital months of the year for the community.

“Pride Fest will be a staple event in the Qtopia Sydney calendar, taking place each year during June, Pride month, to celebrate the creative, diverse and rich LGBTQIA+ talent we have in Australia.

“We could not be prouder of our first season of Pride Fest shows and events, and grateful to the artists who are travelling from across the country, and from as far as Yale University, to share in this momentous month of celebration and culture with us, ” added Ms Fisher.

Pride Fest is the latest addition to Sydney’s ‘Pride Month’ calendar. Pride Month Coordinator, Glenn Hansen announced, “This year’s central themes revolve around Compassion and Courage, particularly as we commemorate the significance of June in the LGBTQIA+ calendar. Sydney Pride Festival is set to unite the community through a grassroots celebration, honouring and sharing the history of Pride…The
focus will be on commemorating the compassion and courage demonstrated by those who paved the way. It underscores the importance of showing compassion to all and being courageous in sharing our stories and living authentically.”

Qtopia Sydney joins Pride Month with over 20 cultural events for audiences to enjoy.

Pride Fest programming is on nightly from June 1-30 at The Loading Dock Theatre and The Substation.

Annie Boyle: Annie Are You Ok?
1 – 2 June
The Loading Dock

A one-woman show about grief, self-discovery, a cow named Madonna and Delta Goodrem. Condensed into a night out amidst the vibrant backdrop of Heaven, a gay club in London, the performance reminds that the impact of immense and painful loss can overwhelm us all at any time.

The Year I Watched My Mum Die
1 – 2 June
The Substation

A hilarious and heartwarming story of a son giving up his life in London to come back to Australia to look after his dying mother. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and be all the more better for the journey. There is never a dull moment – it’s cabaret, it’s drag, it’s a true story!

How to be a Lesbian
3 – 4 June
The Loading Dock

Award-winning performer Felicity Nicol invites audiences to join her on a journey as she attempts to uncover the secrets of what it means to be a Lesbian. How do they shop? Do they have facial hair? What do they eat? And of course – that age old question – how do they have sex without a penis? A fun exploration of Lesbian stereotypes and how we can break out of the boxes that confine us.

Perversion Therapy
5 June
The Loading Dock

After a sell out season of The Velvet Voice at the Bandstand in 2023, Callum Sandercock returns for a one night only cabaret extravaganza. Expect more great songs from your favourite musicals and jazz super stars, along with personal anecdotes, hilarious stories and more than a couple questionable characters!

7 – 8 June
The Loading Dock

How Katy Perry helped one fangirl on a bubblegum, bisexual adventure to pop her cherry. Through classic Katy Perry songs such as Wide Awake, Part of Me, and Firework, Cherry hilariously and insightfully celebrates the power of music to transform and enlighten in this one woman’s thank you card to her idol.

Burn It
7-8 June
The Substation

Two queers. Camping. Post dramatic break-up. Do they engage in wholesome, healthy processing? Or drinking, denial and making fun of trauma? “A show that is both incredibly uncomfortable at times and ridiculously funny” – Australian Stage

Am I the Drama?
9 – 10 June
The Loading Dock

Andy Balloch brings his multiple award winning, queer, absurd, solo sketch show to Qtopia Sydney for Pride Fest!
Journey through the mind & life of an unhinged homosexual, where you’ll meet some truly borked characters, like: Clingy Nazis! Desperate real estate agents! Cassandra the Witch! …and Harry from Love Island, who just wants to f*ck the pool jets. A wild ride that is “nothing short of a wonder” (Beat Magazine).

Big Dyke Energy
11 – 13 June
The Loading Dock

Join acclaimed writer, performer and internet pest Hannah Malarski as she dives headfirst into the unique pressures faced by queer women. From the hilariously embarrassing tale of catfishing her ex to answering the burning question on everyone’s mind: “how do Lesbians actually ‘do it’?”

A Body at Work
12 – 14 June
The Loading Dock

Serial nudist, Frankie van Kan (aka Frankie Valentine) achieves the improbable task of exposing more of herself than ever before, in this deeply intimate piece of confessional theatre. Directed by Maude Davey, A Body at Work is the tale of a queer woman’s sixteen years, and counting, in the sex industry.

Nepo Baby
14 – 15 June
The Loading Dock

A 55 minute one-woman play about trying to make it in the cut throat world of Australian celebrity. Examining the nepo baby phenomenon, Nepo Baby pokes fun at the Australian media-entertainment landscape and explores our sense of cultural cringe. Who are you, if no one is watching?

Personal Space
15 June
The Substation

Brigitta is like every woman in her mid 30s – perpetually tired, addicted to the high of a crisp Diet Coke, and shook that clothing she wore in 2003 is back in high rotation. Inspired by the Y2K renaissance, Brigitta has dusted off a distant relic: Her teenage diary. Join Brigitta as she takes audiences on a nostalgic trip through the pages of her personal space, blending dance, music, and drag into a heartfelt, somewhat cringe, electrifying, sapphic spectacle.

Adore Händel’s Little Black Book
June 16
The Loading Dock

Adore is opening up their Little Black Book to share the scandalous tales of past lovers, partners and paramores aplenty. This comedic drag show weaves opera and musical theatre classics through comedic storytelling sure to delight.

Being a Woman for Money
17 – 18 June
The Loading Dock

Sex sells, but gender sells out. In their first solo comedy since 2016, the critically-acclaimed tour de force Neptune Henriksen delves into gender, capitalism, and desirability, through a queer lens. Being A Woman For Money pulls no punches, answering the questions you’re too afraid to ask, and embracing being in on the joke.

Up Your Bum, No Babies (Remembering Stories from the Gay Ghetto)
18 – 22 June
The Substation

Close your eyes, and click your heels together three times. Matt is a 50-something year old gay man and he has a lot to unpack. Part memoir, part performance poetry, part history lesson, this World Premiere from actor Matt Young (HEART OF THE MAN, LUMBER) will have you longing for the “bad old
days” of gay life from the 90s til now. Come remember the stories of our collective gay experience.

The Fish Bowl
19 – 23 June
The Loading Dock

How does a person with Dementia experience the world? How can we better connect with people in the often challenging environment of aged care?
The Fish Bowl is an award-winning theatre piece exploring themes of communication, ageing, and identity through the real-life stories of people living with Dementia in a South Australian memory unit. The play celebrates the rich character’s you find there, the wisdom they impart, and the ways in which carers and nurses can find creative new forms of communication. Winner of the 2022 BankSA Award for Best Theatre and Physical Theatre at the Adelaide Fringe.

The Whiffenpoofs
21 June
The Loading Dock

One of the oldest and most acclaimed A Capella groups in the world, The Whiffenpoofs, join Pride Fest for a special one night only performance. The Whiffs have performed at Lincoln Center, the White House and Carnegie Hall, and come to The Loading Dock Theatre as part of their Australian tour this June for a night of hits from across the decades, jazz standards and contemporary favourites. The
Whiffenpoofs personify making the world a better, happier place by singing in the celebrated A Capella genre.

Personal Politics: Fifty Years of Queer Activism
22 June
The Loading Dock

Activists in the 1970s hoped that by asserting that the ‘personal is political’ they could address injustice and inequality. This conversation between the authors of Personal Politics: Gender, Sexuality and the Making of Australian Citizenship will explore the efficacy and historical consequences of this style of making politics.
Come and hear a conversation between some of the leading historians of gender and sexuality in Australia about what we can learn by critically examining the history of LGBTIQ+ activism in Australia.

Fearless Voices – Fundraising Panel
24 June
The Loading Dock

The debut panel of Qtopia Sydney’s monthly fundraising panels – the Fearless Voices series.
Join us this month as we mark the anniversary of the First Mardi Gras with an insightful conversation with some of the Giants who have changed history.

DINK (Double Income No Kids)
25 – 26 June
The Loading Dock

The court date is set for the dissolution of Ben and George’s relationship. They’ve already decided who gets the house, and separated their finances, now the real battle begins. DINK (Double Income No Kids) is about the enmeshment of couples in everyday life, and how that fabric frays in a split. How our relationships are formed and dissolved by work, locations, convenience, and what it takes to maintain them. A lighthearted comedy about why we are all so damned lonely even when we are
surrounded by people who love us.

The Will to Be
25 – 29 June
The Substation

An award-winning solo show by Mark Salvestro, exploring forbidden love in 1960s Australia, laced with the words of Shakespeare. A University Office, 1962: homosexuality is illegal. Junior lecturer William O’Halloran has been dismissed from his probationary position. His secret is out.
The Will to Be is an exploration of Australia’s queer history, societal shame, and a defiant cry to speak truth to power.

The Mini Marilyn
27 – 30 June
The Loading Dock

With the cost of living crisis ever worsening, climate change melting the confines around us and the world feeling ever so dramatic, let us take a moment to be enchanted by the world of pink and sparkles! Together, Mini Marilyn and her audiences spend the evening toasting to the sisterhood during an enthusiastic Girls Night Out with her best friends, Brandy and Shandy. An all-female cabaret full of
glitz and glamour that uplifts the female powerhouses of music.

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