Celebrating Two Years

Today marks two years since the first Andro & Eve event at Cafe #9 with a screening of But I’m a Cheerleader. Last night we celebrated that anniversary in the best possible way, surrounded by the community we care so much about, at a special edition of A Reyt Queer Do.

When starting out, we had no idea we’d be producing events on the scale we are now, and we’re so pleased to be making space in Sheffield to celebrate queer culture. In the time since we founded Andro & Eve, the world can sometimes seems more hostile. Spaces where those often marginalised from the ‘mainstream’ can come together to celebrate and feel free, somehow seem more vital, and in a weird way, more radical. Our events are about creating a physical space where many different people can come together and enjoy culture that speaks to them. Welcoming new and familiar faces to the events gives us LIFE!

We want to say a huge thank YOU to everyone who has supported our work over the last two years. Whether that be through buying a ticket, pin badge, telling a mate about us, sharing one of our tweets, or contributing to our accessible ticket fund, you’ve helped this endeavour grow.

Special thanks go to our volunteers, without them we would not be where we are today. And one in particular who was our only helper for the first year of the venture! It has been brilliant welcoming new volunteers and building a team who help us create quality events that audiences love.

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Some of the Andro & Eve volunteer team with co-founders Rhiannon and Katherine

We also want to say thank you to the artists who have travelled to Sheffield to perform and brought such joy to our audiences. A special mention to Adam All and Apple Derrieres, creators of Boi Box in London, who supported us in creating our drag king cabaret – The Kingdom Come. And we want to mention the venues and organisations we’ve worked with who have given us space for free, or seed funding to cover event costs. These are Walkley Community Centre, Theatre Deli Sheffield, Broomhall Community Centre and She Fest. Thank you for believing in what we do and supporting our work.

We’ll be taking a break from running events over the summer, but we have plenty plans and much behind the scenes work going on, so watch this space for announcements about our future coming soon! You can also sign up to our mailing list to be the first to hear news from Andro and Eve first.. Just sayin…!

Katherine and Rhiannon

 

 

Meet The Locals!

We’re reyt chuffed to have been featured on the revamped Our Favourite Places, in their ‘Meet The Locals’ section. In case you’ve not comes across it, Our Fave Places, is an online Sheffield Culture guide that features all you need to know when planning a visit to the Steel City. With the lowdown on everything from exhibitions to pubs, theatre, music, coffee shops, film screenings to unique events, all written by in –  the – know Sheffielders. The new Meet The Local’s section is a great way to find out about the people creating things and making good stuff happen in Sheffield.

They say, ‘An immediate success, Andro and Eve’s events were clearly just the kind of thing the city’s LGBTQ+ community and their friends were hungry for – friendly, positive, and above all lots of fun’.

Read the full interview with Andro and Eve founders, Katherine and Rhiannon here.

_V3A7422 copyPhoto Credit: Ndrika Anyika

 

The Kingdom Come #3

On Saturday 10th March we brought The Kingdom Come back to Walkley Community Centre for it’s third outing and what a night it was. The event sold out well in advance and our enthusiastic audience certainly made the effort, turning up with more beards than we’ve ever seen before. Ginger? Crochet? Rainbow? Yep, they were seen at The Kingdom Come 3, along with some incredible outfits too.

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Yes this person did crochet this beard. They also had a ‘realistic’ brown crochet version!!

That’s just the audience. The line up of drag kings left us all gasping for breath with their hilarious and thought provoking drag acts. Luke Warm was the perfect host, charming the socks off the audience, getting them *really* involved and utilising a random glockenspiel to great effect.

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Luke Warm creates drama with our raffle

Richard Von Wild treated us to some super lip syncing and his Tony Stark was hella realistic.

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Richard Von Wild as Tony Stark, Disney Princess style..

Sigi Moonlight took us to the movies with his dramatic drag, while highlighting the issue of diverse representation in mainstream film with an act where he transformed into the Oscars statue.

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Sigi Moonlight serenades with ukulele

Joey Bambino floored us with his Silence of the Lambs themed act which was fantastically funny and creepy in equal measure.

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Joey Bambino wasn’t expecting it to be quite so cold in South Yorkshire..

Lastly, but by no means least, Oedipussi returned to The Kingdom Come to save the day, stepping into the large gap left by a poorly Zayn Phallic. Oedipussi’s costumes get bigger and more fantastical every time,  delighting the audience and even managing to give one of them their own striped beard. #sharethelove.

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Oedipussi; ‘has anyone seen a stick on eye? Think I’ve lost one’

The vegan cake went faster than you could say ‘I follow a plant based diet’ and the raffle was a hit, with our generous audience raising £184 towards our accessible ticket fund. This is brilliant, as we will be able to provide more tickets for those on low incomes at our next event.

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Luke Warm quite literally warms up the crowd!

We want to say a huge thank you to our wonderful volunteers who helped the night run like clockwork, we’re so grateful for those that give their time to help Andro & Eve develop. And of course thank you to Luke Warm, Oedipussi, Richard Von Wild, Joey Bambino and Sigi Moonlight for travelling to Sheffield and performing for us.

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Clockwise from top left, Oedipussi, Joey Bambino, Richard Von Wild, Sigi Moonlight, Luke Warm

Thanks also to Walkley Community Centre for letting us use their lovely venue, and SheFest for providing funding to support accessibly priced tickets. Lastly thank you, awesome audience, for turning out, dressed up and ready to cheer on our drag kings. You made it a night to remember. 

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Some of the audience felt so inspired they couldn’t help but werk onstage at the end!

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Yet more strong beard action from our audience..

Drag King Open Mic Slots available!

We’re excited to announce that we have drag king open mic slots available!!

We’re planning our next A REYT QUEER DO, and there are a few drag king open mic slots available. These are for brand new drag kings or newbie kings who want more performance experience. It is not a paid opportunity though we can help out with some travel expenses and we always provide food and drink for our performers. You’ll also get a set of photos of your performance taken by our professional photographer and free entry and probably* free cake at our big queer party. Priority for slots will go to Kings based outside of London but all applications welcome! To apply, you need to be available on Saturday 12 May and be able to perform one 3 – 5 minute drag act. Head to our website and fill in our contact form with the title ‘drag king open mic’. Please give us:

  • Your drag king name
  • Where you are based
  • Any links to your drag king’s social media (this is not essential, just helpful).
  • A rough idea of what your act involves. Singing? Clowing? Dancing? Stand up?

Deadline to apply is 6pm on Monday 2 April! We look forward to hearing from you!

For more information on how we programme artists and content for our events, please head to the ‘How we Programme’ section of our website.

Andro and Eve x

*home baked cakes are an essential part of Andro and Eve events…

Drag King Romeo De La Cruz. Ndrika

Romeo De La Cruz at The Kingdom Come #2

Women and The Word

On Saturday 27 January we curated and produced a special event in Sheffield focused around the film, The Revival: Women and The Word, directed by Sekiya Dorsett. We originally saw this documentary at SQIFF in 2016 and fell for its warmth, humour, honesty, and unique perspective on an often overlooked part of the LGBTQIA community. The film follows a group of Black lesbian poets on a salon style tour of the US organised by creative force and entrepreneur Yaani Supreme fka Jade Foster.

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Jonquille Rice aka Solsis and Bea Steadwell. Credit: The Revival: Women and the Word

Documentaries like this allow you to imagine a different world, one where black, queer womanhood is centered, celebrated and given space to breathe. We felt it was important to not only show the film, but make sure the Black British community was celebrated, while giving our audience a taste of the talent that exists within the UK, by showcasing poets of colour on this side of the Atlantic.  To do this we worked closely with Manchester’s Rainbow Noir and Sheffield’s Our Mel to programme artists, and make sure Andro and Eve could reach potential new audiences. We cannot praise Rainbow Noir’s organisers enough for their generosity and support of our aims for this event. It was also awesome to work with another grassroots organisation in Sheffield, through Our Mel, and realise we have many of the same ambitions of creating special events where our communities feel free to express themselves.

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Annalisa of Our Mel hosting the event

As massive lovers of zines and indie publishing we also curated a stall selling the words of women of colour. 

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Classic zine stall

The event sold out a week in advance, and on the night over 70 people from across the UK turned out to our specially chosen, (and secret) Sheffield venue to enjoy the evening. As ever, we were thrilled that so many people had made the journey out on a cold night to attend, and we want to say thank you for those who supported our work in this way.

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Some of our wonderful audience!

Thanks also to all the people who have been contributing to our accessible ticket fund. This was the first event where we were able to offer discounted ticket prices for those on low incomes, and we can say it certainly encouraged some new faces to attend.

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DYLEMA (Do You. Let Every Man Adapt).

The poets, Ella Otomewo, from Manchester and DYLEMA from East London, performed their captivating poems after the film, making quite an impression on our audience and us. It was so rewarding to listen to the comments from those that had gathered together for this event, and realise the hard work had paid off.

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Ella Otomewo performs her poetry

We’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking, but special thanks should go to Rainbow Noir, Our Mel, LAS Sheffield, QTIPOC Notts, Enjoy Your Homes Press, our fabulous volunteers, and last but no means least, photographer Ndrika Anyika, whose images you see in this post.

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If you missed this event, hopefully we’ll see you at The Kingdom Come #3 on March 10th! Tickets are on sale now. 

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_V3A4831Some of our awesome audience members! _V3A4528_V3A4524_V3A4511_V3A4526_V3A4553_V3A4534

 

 

 

A Reyt Queer do were Reyt Good!

This week saw us produce our first in a new party series, called A Reyt Queer Do. With music, food, dancing and drag kings, we brought together a diverse group of people for a very fun night full of queer festive cheer.

Hosted by king Sammy Silver, (see photo above) the night was all about giving new drag kings a chance to try out their acts in front of an audience. And what an audience it was! So much cheering, clapping and general enthusiasm, us Northerners really gave a fine welcome to the talent.

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Tofu Weiner is so chill his hair goes horizontal..

Making their debut were Sheffield – based Tofu Weiner and Crispin Creame, supported by fellow Yorkshire king, Jack Strap. Zayn Phallic, fresh from the London scene, whipped the crowd into a frenzy, while Sammy Silver charmed the socks off everyone with his warm hosting style.

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Zayn Phallic: living his best life

The vegan and veggie tapas went down a treat, and The Old Workshop looked lush, with added handmade festive decor, from yours truly. Our audience had really made an effort, with many people in drag, some so well put together, they could have been mistaken for one of the performers! After the cabaret we danced the night away, with many not wanting to leave. It was brilliant.

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The Old Workshop was jam packed with fabulous folk!

We just want to say a huge thank you to all the drag kings for their energy, and in particular, well done to the new kings, who were so brave to perform to a packed venue. HUGE thanks to our new volunteers; it was great to have more support in running the event. And finally, a massive thank you to our audience, for your enthusiasm and generosity. Through our Christmas raffle and donations through Tickets for Good, you helped us raise £109 towards our accessible fund. This is wonderful and will help us fulfil our aim of bringing in discounted ticket prices for those on low incomes for our events in 2018.

We’re thrilled to be ending 2017 on SUCH a high. YAAAASSSS! We can’t wait for our next event – The Revival: Women and The Word on 27 January. See you there!

PS: We’ll be posting more pics of A Reyt Queer Do #1 on Facebook, probably before the year is out. ‘Like’ our page to get notified as soon as they go up. But here’s few highlights below! Here’s wishing you a restful and happy festive break.

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Andro & Eve co founders, Rhiannon and Katherine, love a pair of braces..

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TEAR IT OFF CRISPIN! TEAR IT OFF! Crispin Creame gets mansformed.

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Jack Strap, with fresh tat, on the mic.

And here’s our beautiful audience, having a reyt good time!

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_MG_8747_MG_8814.jpg_MG_8765.jpgAll photos by Charlotte Victoria Lake.

Drag Kings: Lets break this down

We write this post because, yet again, the Drag Kings we work with have been done a disservice by the media. Sadly, this time it is Sheffield independent publisher Now Then that has pretty much failed to represent what a Drag King is while promoting our next event A Reyt Queer Do. While we’re very happy that the work we’re doing gets exposure, we cannot have the drag kings we work with be described as ‘women in men’s garb’. At best the phrase is reductive, at worst it is insulting.

If you’re sat thinking, ‘hey, thats what a drag king is right?’ then please read on.. Because that description does such a disservice to a scene that has traditionally embraced a wide range of gender identities, and often provides an outlet for creative expression for queer people who may not feel welcome in mainstream ‘gay’ venues. Yes, 19th and early 20th century music hall stars like Vesta Tilley or Hetty King were women impersonating men, but the UK Drag Scene now, is very different and so much more exciting. As London scene star Benjamin Butch puts it,

“A King show will overturn any expectations you may have, we are performing gender to introduce a position from which perspectives can be viewed differently”. 1

To break it down. You may perceive a person as ‘female’, but that doesn’t mean that is their gender identity. Ask before using a pronoun that misgenders a person. Many Drag Kings are trans, meaning their gender identity does not align with the one they were assigned with at birth. Generally a Drag King will perform as a ‘he/him’ on stage, but that does not mean they become ‘she’ offstage. This is similar to the Drag Queen scene where..

‘To many queens past and present, the distinction between gender performance and gender non-conformance is blurry, if it exists at all’. Alex Varman. 2

It is because of gender pioneers like Leslie Feinberg, Marsha P Johnson, Miss Major  and others, and the work of nights like Bar Wotever’s Non Binary Cabaret, and Boi Box’s weekly drag king open mic, that we have a UK Drag scene that plays with and critiques gender and celebrates trans identities. Our aim is to make a space for this wonderful scene to flourish in Yorkshire. To widen access and be part of the network of regular drag nights like Kingdom in Brighton that help spread the appeal of Drag Kings outside the UK’s capital city.

And while we’re at it. The term bio queen is gross and misogynistic. As performer Rodent Decay said ‘If you’re policing the genders of the performers you’re completely missing the point of drag’ 3. This piece also gives a broader discussion of the importance of women to the evolution of the drag scene.

For further reading we recommend this piece published earlier this year in ID magazine. Get to know and love some of the most interesting Drag Kings on the UK Scene right now! Sure to be appearing at a Sheffield venue near you sometime soon..

1.. From ID Magazine piece by Caryn Franklin.
2… From The Establishment piece by Alex Verman.
3. Taken from an article ‘No Girls Allowed on HSKIND by China Deathcrash

We’re fundraising…

As part of our efforts to make Andro & Eve events as inclusive and accessible as possible, we are fundraising to support our activity and provide discounted ticket prices for those on low incomes. Part of those efforts now include the option for those purchasing tickets for our events online at Tickets For Good, to make a contribution to our accessible ticket fund.

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We want to roll out our accessible ticket fund from 2018 so those on low / no income can get a discounted ticket for Andro & Eve events. Money donated via Tickets For Good will go directly towards ticket subsidies for future events. Fundraising starts now, so if you’re buying a ticket for A Reyt Queer Do, then please consider contributing a little extra money towards this fund. Thank you.

Thanks also to Tickets For Good for supporting us in this fundraising activity.

Volunteer Call Out!

We’ve organised a get together and training session for current and newbie volunteers with Andro & Eve on December 13th. With Vegan Cake! We’re expanding our volunteer event team to help us run our programme of feel good events. We basically don’t want any more photos to emerge of Drag Queens carrying chairs at our events.. Hi Apple Derrieres! 😉

So if you’re interested in events, love queer performance and don’t mind giving up an evening now and then to make ace stuff happen locally, join our friendly volunteer team! Ideally you’ll have attended one of our events before, but this is not a necessity. We’re looking for people who can commit to helping run two or three events a year and have a ‘can do’ attitude.

If you want to help us put on events, meet cool people, and guarantee at spot at our sell – out events by volunteering, then join us at The Old Workshop on December 13th for our volunteer training session. Come along and find out about Andro & Eve’s plans for future events focused on queer culture, from the duo behind Andro & Eve. We’ll be covering areas such as event management, health and safety (yes, we will make that interesting!), and the vision for Andro & Eve, as well as finding out a bit more about your reasons for volunteering. And we’ll eat vegan cake.

If you’d like to attend, please drop us a line using the contact form on our website. If you can’t make this event, but would still like to lend a hand, get in touch. Thanks!