Qtopia Sydney’s Pride Fest Program is bursting at the seams

Mark-Salvestro-The-Will-To-Be-photo-by-Sare-ClarkeQtopia Sydney, the largest Centre for Queer history and culture in the world, is gearing up to present the inaugural season of Pride Fest at their flagship theatre, The Loading Dock, and their wonderfully unique Substation in Taylor Square.

Taking over both venues, Pride Fest continues throughout June – having received many applications from some of the most talented LGBTQIA+ artists from around Australia.

To speak directly to Qtopia Sydney’s core mission of storytelling, their multi-genre program includes performances from theatre makers, cabaret performers, drag artists, comedians, A Capella groups and more, as well as poignant discussions from literary events and Qtopia Sydney’s first panel talk, Fearless Voices.

“We are opening the stage to over 20 thought-provoking performances that will contribute to the cultural life of one of the most vibrant and vital months of the year for the community,” said Artistic Director, Carly Fisher.

“To continue to celebrate the creative, diverse and rich LGBTQIA+ talent, Pride Fest will take place during Pride Month each year, marking its permanent spot in the Qtopia Sydney calendar.

“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.

Highlights of Qtopia Sydney’s Pride Fest Program include:

The Loading Dock: 7 – 8 June
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. Created and performed by Sarah Carroll.

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

Big Dyke Energy
The Loading Dock: 11 – 13 June
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’?”

Scout Boxall: Get Into It
The Loading Dock: 13 – 15 June
Drawing on their last three sold out, award winning solo shows, Scout Boxall sandwiches fresh new material in between their all-time favourite bits. Only the finest and crispiest treats for the children!

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

Up Your Bum, No Babies (Remembering Stories from the Gay Ghetto)
The Substation: 18 – 22 June
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. Presented by Matt Young and Dan Graham.

The Fish Bowl
The Loading Dock: 19 – 23 June
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.

The Whiffenpoofs
The Loading Dock: 21 June
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
The Loading Dock: 22 June
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.

DINK (Double Income No Kids)
The Loading Dock: 25 – 26 June
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
The Substation: 25 – 29 June
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
The Loading Dock: 27 – 30 June
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.

Qtopia Sydney’s Pride Fest Program continues at The Loading Dock Theatre and The Substation until 30 June 2024. For more information and full program, visit: www.qtopiasydney.com.au for details.

Image: Mark Salvestro stars in The Will To Be – photo by Sare Clarke