An awe-inspiring festival of all things queer, MELT promises an unforgettable line-up of more than 20 productions and events across 11 nights of revelry, kick-starting 17 May to coincide with IDAHOT – the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
MELT Festival Director James Lees said MELT, now in its fourth year, was more significant than ever following an overwhelming YES vote for marriage equality. “MELT is an annual celebration of Queensland’s vibrant queer community, providing an opportunity for our LGBTIQ+ friends and allies to come together for two weeks of revelry,” said Lees.
“In a climate of renewed optimism and positivity for LGBTIQ+ rights and outward support for the community, we are privileged and excited to present our biggest and most ambitious program to date,” added Lees.
The 2018 program features an eclectic range of international artists, homegrown heroes and MELT Festival favourites, spanning diverse genres including comedy, dance, circus, burlesque, visual arts and more.
Program highlights include Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra and special guests reclaiming pop classics for LGBTIQ+ audiences in Coupling (19 May); and the world’s hottest all-male boylesque stars, BRIEFS return from 23 May with the crowd-pleasing Close Encounters – an epic show of galactic glamour, astro-athleticism and interstellar aerials.
After successful seasons in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, Gavin Roach returns to MELT with his latest work, The Measure of a Man; follow a group of high school students at a catholic boarding school grapple with their sexuality in the contemporary LGBTI+ pop rock musical, Bare; and Icon meets Icon as five time Helpmann Award winner Paul Capsis reprises his role as Quentin Crisp in Resident Alien.
Showstopper event, the MELT Beauty Pageant (18 May) returns to crown this year’s most charismatic drag queen, drag king or trans beauty with help from an all-star judging panel; while Gayming Night (24 May) by the Hella Gay Game Collective assures a queer and inclusive gaming experience for the local gayming community.
For trivia buffs, Tragic Trivia (19 May) offers an utterly outrageous night as Brisbane’s drag superstars take us through the colourful pages of the Queer herstory books for a pop culture comp with a difference.
Bringing the festival to a triumphant close is The Bowery Haus: Closing Party (26 May); a costume party celebrating inclusivity, self-expression and one of Australia’s most legendary queer icons, Leigh Bowery. Come as your interpretation of this Australian icon for this dazzling fashion and costume dance party featuring some of Brisbane’s best DJs.
“MELT 2018 sparkles with pride, passion and humour, extending an invitation for people of all genders, sexual orientations, ages, ethnicities, abilities and artistic interests to join in the party,” said Lees.
The 2018 MELT Festival runs 17 – 27 May. For more information, visit: www.brisbanepowerhouse.org for details.
Image: courtesy of Brisbane Powerhouse