Back with a Bang!

a group of Black, female and femme dancer strike poses onstage lit by blue lighting. They wear bright orange jackets and tight black dance wear.

We are super excited to share that we have received Arts Council funding enabling us to produce a programme of live events and talent development opportunities in South Yorkshire this summer.

In a new partnership with The Civic, Barnsley, we will be collaborating closely with Manchester’s Ghetto Fabulous, to bring Sheffield a ‘Reyt Queer Extravaganza’ this July. What’s that? – we hear you cry! Well…

A Reyt Queer Extravaganza, hosted by writer, director and actor, Rikki Beadle Blair, will showcase some of South Yorkshire’s most exciting queer performance talent, as well as dancers and drag artists from across the North of England, alongside community participants who want to show off their fabulous selves.

Ghetto Fabulous. Credit Fotocad.

In the run up to A Reyt Queer Extravaganza, due to take place iconic Sheffield venue, The Leadmill* on the 30 July, Andro and Eve and Ghetto Fabulous will host a series of ‘Feeling Fabulous’ workshops for members of the LGBTQ+ community to participate in. These will happen in both Barnsley and Sheffield. The aim of these workshops is to help participants feel more confident, gain some dance and performance skills, and develop a short performance to be showcased at the Reyt Queer Extravaganza.

We’ll also be bringing our drag king cabaret, The Kingdom Come back to Sheffield in October. Plus another edition of queer cabaret, A Reyt Queer Do in June, which platforms emerging queer performance talent, as well as hosting online drag king workshops in May with drag king Christian Adore, and a Gender Exploration workshop at The Civic in June.

three white people look upwards with smiles and eyes closed as they enjoy glitter being thrown over theirselves in a dark party setting
A Reyt Queer Do will be back later this year – Credit Ndrika Anyika

Finn Warman, Artistic Director for Andro and Eve says; ‘We’re absolutely delighted to be back producing accessible events to celebrate queer culture where everyone is welcome. Through the pandemic, we’ve continued to bring our community together with online workshops and smaller in person events. However, we’ve not been able to produce the scale of events we were known for before 2020’.

Finn continues, ‘We’ve been in talks for a long time with Ghetto Fabulous to bring to Sheffield the sort of events you’d see in Manchester, and are just so chuffed to have secured the funding that will allow us to do this and make this work accessible. We’re also really excited to be able to provide larger platforms for South Yorkshire queer artists and space for the LGBTQ+ community to come together and celebrate their resilience and joy. Our offer also includes digital engagement, enabling those more comfortable with online activity, to engage with our programme’.

The Kingdom Come will be back in Sheffield this September. Image credit Ndrika Anyika.

David Sinclair, Head of Visual Arts and Engagement at The Civic says ‘The Civic is really excited to be partnering with Andro & Eve and Ghetto Fabulous on this landmark queer event for South Yorkshire. Part of our organisation’s core values is to amplify the voices of those typically marginalised in the arts. Therefore, we are delighted to be able to provide these events and workshops to offer an amazing platform for our home grown queer talent, as well as providing opportunities for our LGBTQ+ community to develop new skills but more importantly celebrate queer joy and have fun!’

The Andro and Eve community together in 2018. Credit Ndrika Anyika.

Alongside this programme of work, we’re super excited to announce our first project for teenagers in South Yorkshire, in a partnership with Site Gallery. In collaboration with Site Gallery’s young people’s group, Society of Explorers, we’ll be producing a new zine themed around our Gender Awareness Training, which aims to help organisations and groups build more inclusive practices for transgender and gender expansive people. An open call for participants aged 14 – 18 will be announced soon.

We want to hear from queer performance artists living in South Yorkshire that may want to be part of our events in 2022. Keep an eye on our social media channels for further artist opportunities and freelance roles to be announced soon. Tickets for A Reyt Queer Extravaganza will go on sale at the start of May. Make sure you’ve signed up to our newsletter to bag early bird discounted tickets for what promises to be a night to remember!

Thank you all those who have supported us throughout the last two years. It has taken a lot of effort to survive through the pandemic, and bring this programme to fruition. But we’re so excited to be back to live events and we can’t wait to see you soon!

*make sure you’ve also signed the petition to save the Leadmill and change Section 25 of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Not Safe to be Me

a pink tile with white writing states ‘It’s not a ban if it has exemptions’ Ban Conversion Therapy.

As a member of LGBT+ Consortium we wholeheartedly support their stance and the position of Stonewall to boycott the ‘Safe to be Me’ conference in response to the Government’s U turns on the banning of conversion therapy here in the UK. Read their full statement here.

A quick recap in case this is news – the Government said they would ban conversion therapy for LGBT+ people. Then last week they said they would not. Then they decided they would, but not for transgender and non binary people. Appalling. 

The ‘Safe to Be Me’ conference was to be the UK’s first global LGBT+ conference bringing together organisations and governments from across the world seeking to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ people. You can read more about it here.

LGBT Consortium have had over 125 LGBTQ+ and ally organisations send their support for the withdrawal from this conference until the UK Government includes transgender people in the ban on conversion therapy. This includes Andro & Eve.

Allies – what can you do? Write to your MP urgently! Ask them to put pressure on the government to reverse this decision and give trans people the same protections as LGB people. The link above will take you to Stonewall’s website where you’ll find a template. Trans rights are under attack here in 2022. Trans and non binary people need your active support now.

We stand with our trans and gender expansive siblings and all those who oppose this injustice. With love, Andro and Eve x

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