Winner of Lever Prize 2014, Contact will be in double celebration mode in February with the fifth birthday of its annual Queer Contact festival as part of LGBT History Month. Taking place across nine days, the festival will feature a host of club nights, shows, debates and workshops, centring this year’s dedication to music. Here are our picks of the best…

House of Suarez Vogue Ball (pictured)
Innovative theatre company, House of Suarez, brings its award-winning Vogue Ball to Manchester for the first time as club culture meets the art of Vogue. Taking place in Contact’s studio, see the intimate room be transformed into a ‘70s/’80s-era New York catwalk extravaganza as Vogue teams battle it out for dance supremacy, complete with lavish costumes to fit the theme. Even better, you can learn to vogue yourself with a series of free workshops led by House of Suarez in the lead up to the event (dates and times here) – costume encouraged and advance booking recommended.
Sat 8 Feb, Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, M15 6JA, Tel: 0161 274 0600, 7.30pm, £12,

To Russia With Love – Stage
As the Winter Olympics begin in Sochi, three Manchester theatre companies team up for an evening of protest and performance highlighting current LGBT rights issues in the host country. Drawing inspiration from true stories, the performances explore identity, love and family under Russia’s homophobic laws in the form of four specially commissioned pieces, featuring work by Stephen M Hornby, Chris Hoyle, Rob Ward and Adam Zane. The event takes place as the final part of To Russia With Love: Street & Stage, a 24 hour performance protest beginning at Manchester’s gay village on Friday 7 February.
Sat 8 Feb, Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, M15 6JA, Tel: 0161 274 0600, 8pm, £9,

Young Enigma, Jackie Kay and guests: Esquire Literary Salon
Renowned Scottish author and poet Jackie Kay joins local young LGBT writers collective, Young Enigma, for a celebration of literature and spoken word. Author of five collections of poetry for adults and for children, Jackie has won numerous awards – including a Saltire Award and Scottish Arts Council Book Award – for her stories exploring her complicated inheritance and identity. The talk will also feature special guests, poets Patience Agbabi and Gerry Potter.
Tue 11 Feb, Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, M15 6JA, Tel: 0161 274 0600, 7.30pm, £9,

With plenty more events to choose from, the festival will also feature performances from Joey Arias and The Tiger Lillies; club nights including Tranarchy and Off The Hook vs. Pop Curious; a discussion led by Elly Barnes on what it means to be a young LGBT person in the present day and a special edition of Contact’s Comedy Playground with Craig Hill, Zoe Lyons and more. For full listings, see Contact’s website.
Thu 6 Feb – Sat 15 Feb, Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, M15 6JA, Tel: 0161 274 0600,

Thu 6 Feb - Sat 15 Feb
Hannah Phillips
Published on:
Tue 4 Feb 2014