Queer delights at the 2015 Feast Festival

Feast Festival Michael Griffiths Sweet DreamsAdelaide’s annual Feast Festival kicks off its 19th year this weekend with a vast array of performing and visual arts events, literature events, film screenings, Queer forums and more. We take a look at a few events worth checking out:

Queer Living Books
Feast Lounge, Lion Arts Centre Courtyard – throughout Festival
Why read a book when you can hear stories from a real life LGBTIQ person? Following a concept originated in Denmark, readers are offered the chance to engage in an informal half hour conversation with living ‘books’, an extraordinary group of local volunteers who share their stories. From diverse backgrounds, our recruitment of books tell stories not given attention in mainstream media. To loan a living book call the Feast office on (08) 8463 0684

Inside Out & The Body-Morphic
Venue 63 – Light Square, Adelaide: 14 – 28 November
Emerging Adelaide-based painter Dylan Pimm explores issues of masculinity, desire, vulnerability, and the body through a collection of strikingly abstract images created on board. The work, which employs painting and drawing techniques, is at the same time visceral and highly controlled studies of same-sex sexuality, the self, and the male other. This is the first solo exhibition of Dylan’s work.

To the Barricades: More Outlaw Than In-Law?
SAHMRI building forecourt: Sunday 15 November
Australia’s Homosexual Histories Conference 2015 has begged Dr Gertrude Glossip to come out of Queer History Walk retirement. Always ready to answer the call, Gertrude has girded her loins. ‘An international audience… a forty year battle for gay law reform… To the Barricades,’ she has commanded! Trailing clouds of glory, Gertrude will fire up with the sensational trial of Bert Edwards JP MP, storm her way down North Terrace and then finally, wrath subsiding, reflect on Dr George Duncan’s drowning, beside his memorial on the River Torrens.

Meteor / All About E
Mercury Cinema: Tuesday 17 November
A double whammy of local movie talent! Short film Meteor follows Patrick, caught between ‘making it work’ and letting go, on a journey into the outback with boyfriend John. Being face-to-face in an isolated landscape – will this be enough to keep them together? Feature film All About E follows a beautiful sexy DJ who is forced to run when she stumbles on a bag of cash. Can she keep the money, conquer her demons, AND get the girl?

Acacia Quartet & Lyle Chan: An AIDS Activist’s Memoir in Music
Dunstan Playhouse – Adelaide Festival Centre: Thursday 19 November
Lyle Chan is an AIDS activist and composer and his passions are beautifully interwoven in An AIDS Activist’s Memoir in Music. The Acacia Quartet perform this emotionally powerful music, with narration by Chan, giving a truly moving insight into AIDS activism. Written in the crisis years 1991-1996, but completed 20 years later, this work is agitated and tender, humorous and moving.

The Story of My Life
The Star Theatre: 18 – 21 November
A tale of two childhood friends, and the relationship which profoundly defines their lives, this musical follows the lifelong friendship between Thomas Weaver, a best-selling, award-winning author and Alvin Kelby, his best friend of thirty years. But even the closest camaraderie can be tested, and when the bonds of this friendship reach breaking point, Thomas calls on the only resource he has – his memories of Alvin’s friendship. This richly melodic musical is a soaring tribute to the power of friendship and an ode to the people we meet who change our lives forever. It is a reminder that love isn’t always straightforward.

No One Likes Me
Nexus Theatre – Lion Arts Centre: Friday 20 & Saturday 21 November
Darren Vizer intertwines his collective talents, of dance, theatre, and drag in this compelling tale of the lived experience of Australia’s road to acceptance. A show about being different: growing up gay in a school system of intolerance, dealing with a family built on traditional gender roles and coming out against a backdrop of drug use, sexually transmitted diseases and prejudice. A stunning theatrical autobiography that shows just how far we’ve come. Part tragedy, part comedy, and all truth No One Likes Me is a soul baring portrayal of a man with a simple wish, ‘like me for who I am’.

The Devil Wears Leigh Buchanan
Nexus Theatre – Lion Arts Centre: Friday 20 November
Project Runway Runner-up Leigh Buchanan, in his hysterical hit cabaret that seamlessly (pun intended) celebrates the colourful story of his life through heart-rending song and hilarious stories from his journey through rags-to-riches beginnings to the D-grade celebrity he is today. You’ll be laughing and begging for more, after hearing the sharp-tongued socialite tell his scandalous secret involving two of Australia’s most iconic personalities while proving that even cheeky little devils can have an angelic heart of gold – SOLID GOLD (and Swarovski crystal)!

In Bed with Vonni
Nexus Theatre – Lion Arts Centre: Saturday 21 & 28 November
A funny, in-depth journey into the life of the unique, magic and much-loved Vonni. From her glamourous tours around Australia with world famous Les Girls in the 70’s and 80’s to working for underworld mobs in Kings Cross strip clubs. The highs and lows and lots of laughs, a conversation event hosted by ABC 891 presenter and Sunday Mail columnist Peter Goers.

Nungay Nite
Tandanya – Kaurna Country: Saturday 21 November
Tandanya NACI in partnership with Moolagoo Mob and Blak Lemons presents a cultural extravaganza in one spectacular evening. The evening will showcase local Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander rainbow performers for our MOB to experience a brilliant round of cultural workshops, Comedy, Live Music, Drag and Dance.

Amelia Ryan is a Storm in a D-Cup
Nexus Theatre – Lion Arts Centre: Friday 27 November
Fresh from a smash hit run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Adelaide’s own cabaret darling, Amelia Ryan, returns with this multi-award winning show! When a girl’s been blessed with a gay father, a transgender step-mother, can add ‘Exotic Dancing’ to her resume, and has caused the spectacular demise of FIVE automobiles, what’s left to do but get it all off her chest in a candid yet hilariously delivered cabaret? With razor-sharp humour she parodies the likes of 4 Non Blondes, Belinda Carlisle and Kander & Ebb.

Heavier Than Air
Nexus Theatre – Lion Arts Centre: Friday 27 & Saturday 28 November
With the explosion of interest in the experiences of young people in schools, it was only a matter of time until we turned our eyes to the experiences of LGBTIQ teachers. This performance animates transcripts from real-life teachers that ask audiences to critically consider the ‘performance’ of being an LGBTIQ teacher in today’s schools. Using the metaphor of paper airplane flight, which models and mobilizes efforts to move bodies and identities “heavier than air,” this performance highlights how LGBTIQ teachers remain spectral/partial figures in schools that refuse to invite our ‘wholeselves’ in.

Sweet Dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox
Nexus Theatre – Lion Arts Centre: Saturday 28 November
Direct from a smash hit run at Edinburgh Fringe, acclaimed cabaret performer and Feast Ambassador, Michael Griffiths IS Annie Lennox. From the gender bending early days as one half of 80s new wave sensation Eurythmics through to her stunning solo career. Featuring unforgettable songs like Why, Thorn In My Side, Walking On Broken Glass and There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart). Winner Best Cabaret Adelaide Fringe 2014.

The 2015 Feast Festival continues to 29 November. For more information, visit: www.feast.org.au for details.

Image: Feast Festival Ambassador Michael Griffiths in Sweet Dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox