In Events

February 2022 sees Queer Contact return to Manchester’s Contact theatre for the first time in the newly transformed venue. Having recently undergone a £6.75million transformation of its iconic building on Oxford Road, Contact has expanded to create enhanced performance and event space to support queer communities from across the region. Tickets are now on sale for the 9-day celebration which will take over all corners of the venue.

Queer Contact began over a decade ago and has since become the beating heart of Manchester’s queer arts scene. The annual Vogue Ball, a riotous head-to-head display of skills from Vogue houses across the North West, is recognised as a trailblazing event. In 2022, the festival will platform a broad range of life experience, forge alternative paths for celebrating queer identities and – for the first time – will create opportunities to engage in educational activities around queer life and health.  

Queer Contact 2022 was built to meet the needs of the next generation of LGBTQ+ artists and audiences. Through in-depth consultation, Contact has aimed to ensure that the festival truly speaks to a young queer audience in the city. By hosting workshops with individuals aged 13 – 30 Contact embedded a commitment to reflecting the experiences and interests of young people in the LGBTQ+ community. The workshops involved consultation on the outline, strategy and programme of this year’s Queer Contact.

Queer Contact 2022

The festival kicks off with drag king troupe Pecs: King of the North. Expect to be entertained with slick dance routines, sexy lip-syncs and raucous comedy. The regular Pecs team will be joined by guest Kings from Manchester’s scene in a night to celebrate queer community. Next up, The Enby Show, hosted by Carrot and featuring Divina de Campo, bringing together the best gender-benders and cis-tem offenders that the UK has to offer, in an all-star variety night popping with creme-de-la-thems.

Contact theatre is well known for its commitment to young and early-career artists, and Queer Contact’s line-up is no exception. Scratch will see tantalising glimpses of new work from a number of queer Manchester based creatives – including the two recipients of the GM LGBTQ+ Arts and Culture Network bursary: Jova and the Wave, Maz Hedgehog who share early material from their winning commissions. In addition, Plaster Cast Theatre, Sam Danson, Taylor le Fin (with TransCreative) and Chanje Kunda will also share early-stage material of new work exploring bisexual bliss, working class transmasculinity, LGBTQ+ mental health and queer desire.

Glamrou (the alter ego of Amrou Al-Kadhi) presents their debut solo show, exploring the tensions between the artist’s queerness and Iraqi/Islamic heritage. Glamrou takes us from the depths of hell to the zenith of Islamic paradise, saying the things that no one else dares to, and showing us what it means to live in a state of harmonious contradiction.

This is followed by a celebration of global vogue culture at the House of Suarez and Contact Vogue Ball at Manchester Academy 1. House of Suarez’s legendary annual Vogue Ball is returning to Manchester with a 2022 theme of Night at the Poseum, with performances inspired by treasures from around the globe currently on display in museums throughout the North West.

Other festival highlights include:

Programmed by our young queer community consultants, The Untold Orchestra present a contemporary classical music show with a diverse Manchester-based 15-piece orchestra playing a set inspired by a journey through decades of queer musical icons.

Emma Frankland’s Hearty is the fifth and final solo show in the None of Us is Yet a Robot project - a series of performances which have been a response to Emma’s gender transition and the politics surrounding trans identity over the past seven years. Bearing wings made of sharp knives and shooting fireballs into the air, Emma tackles the current media fascination with trans lives and interrogates the controversial bio-technology of HRT.

​​Nominated for “Best Collective” for QX Cabaret Award in 2019, The Bitten Peach is the UK’s only Pan-Asian cabaret collective, made up of performers of Asian descent working in a variety of nightlife performance genres, including drag, burlesque, dance, comedy, music, and circus. ​

Further events will be announced.

Queer Contact 2022

Contact’s President Dr Carl Austin-Behan OBE DL, formerly Manchester’s first openly gay Lord Mayor, said: “Queer Contact is an annual celebration that promotes and highlights the creativity and expression of LGBTQ+ artists from across the world, a festival that reflects the rich and honest diversity of our community here in the Northwest. For 2022 it’s great to see that our young queer community have been instrumental in the programming process and the performances reflect this. Diversity in culture is not a luxury, it’s an important integral part of community life which brings vibrancy, individualism, and reality to all ages”.

Matt Fenton, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Contact, said: “Over the last 3 years we’ve had a blast presenting Queer Contact across the city at some amazing partner venues, and more recently online. But we’re so excited to be welcoming festival audiences safely back home to Contact, with a really exciting and diverse line-up for all ages”.

Mahala Tucker, Artist and Young People’s Consultant, said: “I was so glad to see Contact was looking for young Queer people to consult for the festival since it’s so easy to feel alone and unseen particularly when you’re just coming out. To be part of the decision on what I can learn and experience and hearing what is important to others is so valuable. I can’t wait to be surrounded by all the colours of the rainbow and get my fill of art and queer joy”.

Heidi Taylor-Wood, Creative Producer and Young People’s Consultant, said: “It’s great knowing that Contact are consulting with the audiences that they aim to engage with in Queer Contact 2022. By further diversifying the group of individuals with which Contact consult, the festival will begin to become more genuinely inclusive to a wider audience; in turn increasing conversation and ally-ship around our community”.


Queer Contact 2022
Queer Contact 2022

February 2022 sees Queer Contact return to Manchester’s Contact theatre for the first time in the newly transformed venue.



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