Cancelled – The Kingdom Come 6

It is with deep sadness and heartbreak that we announce the cancellation of The Kingdom Come 6 which was due to take place on Saturday 21 March at Abbeydale Picture House. This event, which would have been our 21st event, is the first event we have cancelled in our 4-year history. We do this in response to the escalation of the coronavirus and its impact on our wider community.

As a queer-led social enterprise, which means we put people before profit, and care of the most vulnerable and marginalised at our heart, we felt we must take action on this matter. By cancelling this event we can potentially reduce the amount of people contracting coronavirus, limit the impact of the coronavirus on our already strained NHS, and reduce the impact on public health workers.

As a small organisation with a staff team of one person alongside our team of volunteers, we cannot in good conscience put the health of our team, our artists, or wider community at risk. The board of Andro & Eve have consulted with our team and with our contacts in the arts and business community. This collective decision is not one we have taken lightly, or without much heartache.

Much of that pain comes from the fact that we know what the Andro & Eve events mean to our community, as well as to our artists. We send our love and solidarity to those already affected by coronavirus.

Everyone who bought a ticket is of course entitled to a refund, but if you can afford to, we’d ask you to consider your ticket a donation to help support our vision to bring queer arts and culture to South Yorkshire. Cancelling this event puts our financial security as an organisation at risk.

We rely on our big events such as The Kingdom Come to financially support the running of the organisation the rest of the year. Also, we are well aware of the pressures on freelancers at this time, and this will help us ensure that we can reimburse our artists and crew for fees they will lose, and in recognition for all the hard work they have already put into this event.

If anyone would like to support us at this extremely challenging time, you can by heading to Tickets for Good and buying a ticket for The Kingdom Come, before the 21st March. You can also add a contribution to our Pay it Forward Ticket fund there too. Your donation will be used to ensure we come back stronger and better than ever at a later date.

All those who have bought a ticket for The Kingdom Come will receive a discount on tickets for our next event; we will send a discount code to the email you used to book with, on announcement of the next event. We very much appreciate the support and trust you have placed in us. Details on refunds will also be sent to the email used to book with on Tickets for Good. Alternatively, please email [email protected] for more information.

We wish to thank our partner venues, Abbeydale Picture House and Theatre Deli Sheffield for their support and guidance in this difficult time. Independent venues and businesses in Sheffield will be at real risk of closure as we move through this health crisis. If you can also donate money towards Theatre Deli Sheffield or Abbeydale Picture House, you can do so via these links.

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/abbeydalepicturehouse

https://www.gofundme.com/f/theatredelisheffieldheatingfund

Finally, over the coming days we will be sharing resources to support our community. If you have any questions or have seen any useful links or resources, we are happy to promote.

For now, Queercare have some excellent resources available including this Google Form if you are in need of extra support at this time.

With love and solidarity

Team Andro & Eve

What is a drag king cabaret?!

It has come to our attention that, SHOCK HORROR, some folk don’t KNOW what a drag king cabaret is? Hold our redbush tea while we gently explain the lowdown on the glorious and rare beast that is a cabaret night dedicated solely to DRAG KINGS.

Drag king romeo de la cruz onstage dancing
Romeo De La Cruz performs at The Kingdom Come 5, May 2019

Firstly, some of you, (gasp) may not know what a drag king is, but we think you *may* have heard of drag queens. So, a drag king, instead of performing femininity like most queens, will perform a version of masculinity. This can include use of makeup, facial hair, body transformation, and just like a queen, a wholly formed persona to amuse an audience. But ‘blokes are not as exciting to look at as the trappings of a woman’ we hear some dissenters mouth.. HOLD UP! Have you seen Spikey Van Dykey?  Adam All? Christian Adore? Oedipussi? The latter three kings have all performed at our very own drag king cabaret, The Kingdom Come. No one with working eyesight could accuse these kings of not dazzling the heck out of audiences with their OTT looks.

Adam All and partner Aple Derrieres perform at The Kingdom Come, June 2017.

Starting to get an understanding? Okay. Now. Just don’t say ‘so its a woman dressed as a man right?’ This is because many kings identify as non binary, trans-masculine or as men. That said, some kings do go about daily life as women, just please ask before assuming this. Misgendering folk is never a good look and we really don’t want our community feeling less than damn brilliant. Got it? Champion.

So what does a drag king do? Glad you asked. They usually perform a 5 – 10 minute act in which they may dance, strut, pose, sing, lipsync or clown but always with the intention of entertaining an audience. Many kings use their performances to deconstruct and play with the idea of masculinity, using props, humour and audience interaction to give audiences a rollicking thrill ride of fun, while potentially also blowing your mind with a different perspective. Even if that perspective is that you didn’t know the macarena could be performed *that* fast, (cheers Oedipussi), or you now have a taste for a dick in a box (thanks Louis Von Dini)!

Chiyo onstage at The Kingdom Come, with tattoos and piercings on display
Scene star Chiyo performs at The Kingdom Come, May 2019. Abbeydale Picture House.

And a drag king cabaret such as The Kingdom Come? Well we put 5 of these kings on a massive stage, in the historic surroundings of old 1920’s cinema, Abbeydale Picture House in Sheffield, and get them to perform for 200 – 350 people. They usually perform 2 different acts each with an interval in between. Its a room full of queer joy, community and the feeling that for 3 hours, we can come together and just celebrate. We also transform the space with decorations, a dedicated lighting designer, stage crew, and a team of amazing volunteers are on hand to support our community throughout (and sell some of the best vegan cake in Sheffield).

We do this because often, female bodied and trans performers are marginalised, because its the turn of the kings to get the recognition they deserve, with scene stalwarts like Boi Box having helped develop the careers of so many wonderful kings, and because Northern cities like Sheffield deserve some of the finest entertainment the UK has to offer! (And like so many cities, are lacking in dedicated LGBTQ+ venues). We want to put Sheffield on the map for queer arts and culture.

350 audience members watch Shesus and the Sisters onstage in Sheffield.
Shesus and the Sisters hosting The Kingdom Come at Abbeydale Picture House, May 2019.

Now you may have a better understanding of what The Kingdom Come is, we hope you can join us for a future edition. Because of the scale of these shows (the largest drag king show outside of London), we only do them once or twice a year. Our next is on the 21st March and you can get a ticket here, with sliding scale prices so all can enjoy a night of queer joy!

We hope to greet you there! 

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