Drag Kings are part of our Queer Future

Two slim, white drag kings dressed like cowboys with cowboy hats and shirts, stand back to back on a stage. They are lip syncing and lit by blue, red and purple lighting.

Last month our drag king cabaret, The Kingdom Come made its long overdue return to Sheffield. Suffice to say, we were very excited. The queer future is here, and drag kings are definitely part of it!

Taking over another new venue for us, Crookes Social Club, we transformed this community venue into a silvery, spacey fantasy ready for our stellar line up to take to the stage.

Drag king Romeo De La Cruz is dancing onstage at Crookes Social Club. The stage is adorned with gold glitter bunting that says ‘The Kingdom Come’ behind which is the traditional Crookes Working Mens Club engraved lettering in gold. Romeo is a Black non binary person with short shaved hair. They wear a black shirt, sliver chains and patterned black trousers and have a serious look on their face.
Romeo De La Cruz. Credit: Dawn Kilner

Our hosts for the evening was the ‘godfather of the modern UK drag king scene’ Adam All, and his partner, Apple Derrieres. With Sigi Moonlight, Mark Anthony, Romeo De La Cruz and Brokeback Yorkshire, our sold out audience was treated to thrills and spills all over.

Adam All and Apple Derrieres hosting The Kingdom Come #6. Credit Dawn Kilner

With Adam and Apple blasting out the power pop anthems, Mark Anthony treating us to his seductive boylesque moves, Brokeback Yorkshire being the campest and sexiest gay cowboys we’ve seen, Romeo De La Cruz powerfully commanding the stage with their choreography and Sigi Moonlight taking us on a sublime yet silly seaside journey!

This was also our first live show where we were able to offer audio description, beautifully delivered by Dot, and our BSL interpreter, Max smashed out the BSL with panache galore.

Sigi Moonlight as Captain Birdseye. Credit: Dawn Kilner

A huge thanks to Crookes Social Club for the warm welcome, to all our artists and crew and brilliant volunteers for helping things run smoothly. We also want to say massive thanks to our community, who on the night, through fervent raffle action, managed to raise £246 for our Pay it Forward Ticket fund. This fund helps us provide free and discounted tickets to those who need them at future events.

Our friendly crew and volunteers were serving up cake and smiles!

The Kingdom Come: Queer Future Edition was our last event of 2022, but we’ll be back in 2023 with more queer joy and delight. Just make sure you’ve signed up to our newsletter to be first to hear about upcoming events and opportunities.

Enjoy the pictures, shot by Dawn Kilner!

Mark Anthony stirring things up
Death to heteronormativity in the queer future!

The Making of A Reyt Queer Extravaganza

Angel Blaque duck walks onstage under pink lighting. Angel is a Black, femme with pink braids wearing a pale crop top and cute flared mini skirt with chunky white trainers.

Back in July, we produced our biggest ever event, A Reyt Queer Extravaganza, a collaboration with visual arts and dance company Ghetto Fabulous.

So we’re thrilled to share a specially commissioned film by filmmaker Toni Lee that shows the making of A Reyt Queer Extravaganza and what it meant to the participants and artists involved. 

Toni Lee filming participants of Forgeous, Sheffield. Credit – Misha Warren

This collaboration with Ghetto Fabulous was a year in the making, with queer dance and movement workshops in June and July, which brought together a group of LGBTQ+ people from South Yorkshire who were supported to create their own collective and who made their performance debut at A Reyt Queer Extravaganza.

a group of people in various elegant costumes pose and dance onstage with one person strutting their way onto the catwalk. The scene is lit by warm orange lighting
Forgeous onstage at The Leadmill. July 2022. Credit – Misha Warren

A Reyt Queer Extravaganza in July was Sheffield’s first queer led ball, and a huge event, with 25 performers taking to the stage at The Leadmill, and 300 audience members. This film celebrates the people and processes involved in making it all happen. As one audience member said..

The whole event had a brilliantly inclusive feel to it. It felt like everyone on the stage and in the audience was being encouraged and uplifted

Relive the memories, or see what you missed and have a watch now!

Credits

Cinematography and Editing – Toni Lee

Stills photography – Emily Obeng

Artistic Directors – Darren Pritchard for Ghetto Fabulous and Finn Warman for Andro & Eve

Workshop Facilitator – Sym Mendez 

Host of Reyt Queer Extravaganza – Rikki Beadle Blair

With thanks to The Leadmill, Montgomery Theatre, Andro & Eve staff and volunteers and all the fierce performers who took to the runway. 

This project was made made possible through funding from Arts Council England and The Civic, Barnsley.

A REYT QUEER EXTRAVAGANZA: OUR BIGGEST PARTY EVER!

a group of three black performers strike poses on a catwalk. The person in the centre wears a gold dress and has gold paper flowing from their body.

We showed Leadmill how to really throw a party this July with our biggest event ever – A Reyt Queer Extravaganza!

An evening packed with lewks, lipsyncing and crazy choreography, our artists and fantastic audience made it a night to remember.

Legendary MC Rikki Beadle-Blair kicked off proceedings in full bridal couture, and served powerful looks and even more powerful laughs throughout the night.

Rikki Beadle-Blair, a black man, stands at the front of the stage with his hands outstretched. He's wearing a classic long white wedding dress and veil
Host Rikki Beadle-Blair stunned in bridal couture – Credit Emily Obeng

After weeks of exploring queer dance and movement, Sheffield’s very own Forgeous made their debut bringing style, vogue, attitude and queer joy to the catwalk.

Forgeous made their debut. Credit – Misha Warren

Jaws were seen dropping as South Yorkshire legends Bi Polar, King Confuza, Ivy Alexander, Ditzy O Darlin, Northern powerhouses Val Qaeda, Kaan Ghetto, incredible singer/rapper Meduulla and the unstoppable House of Noir and House of Blaque – stunned with impressive looks, walks and tracks in categories from Turn a Lewk to Queer Kink to Lipsync.

Vyn Noir stands holding a big beach bag. They wear a pink latex swimsuit, long black PVC platforms, a sailors hat and they hold a multi coloured giant beach ball
Yvn Noir kept it cool – Credit Emily Obeng

Overseeing the evening was our judges – Stuart, Claud Cunningham and Heather Paterson who gave 10s across the board to our performers.

Stuart – one of the judges – Credit Misha Warren

Tasty vegan cake, merch and a slightly more chilled vibe was found in room 2. There, our audience could take a breather, have a chinwag, meet our fantastic volunteers and try to stop themselves buying all of our badges!

And the whole crowd looked incredible of course – were we ever in any doubt?

Party goers enjoyed a dance – Credit Misha Warren

We’re so grateful to all of you who came down and made A Reyt Queer Extravaganza our biggest event ever. Getting together in a huge party, seeing the support for the artists and being in a room full of love and joy with 300 people made the night truly magical!

Drag queen Ivy Alexander kneels on a catwalk under bright golden lights. Ivy is a plus sized queen with big blonde wig and wears a blue sequin bodysuit
Ivy Alexander performs onstage at A Reyt Queer Extravaganza. Credit – Misha Warren

And a huge shoutout to our fantastic volunteers (who really are the glue that holds everything together), our incredible audience and to our partners The Civic, Barnsley and funder Arts Council England – their support made this event possible!

Keen for more? Get tickets to The Kingdom Come #6 NOW!

a crowd of people in a dark room look upon a stage out of shot
The crowd enjoyed the show. Credit – Emily Obeng
Angel Blaque leaps onstage under pink lighting. Angel is a Black, femme with pink braids wearing a pale crop top and cute flared mini skirt with chunky white trainers.
Angel Blaque jumping for joy – Credit Misha Warren

A Reyt Queer Do: Back with a bang!

A black femme presenting person with blue Afro hair wears a black PVC mini dress and smiles on a mix in front of a crowd of people. She is lit by purple lighting.

On the 12th June we produced our first live cabaret event in 2.5 years at Sidney and Matilda with our 6th Reyt Queer Do. The night was full of great music, cake and stunning looks from both the acts and audience.

A Reyt Queer Do #6 at Sidney and Matilda. Supported using funding from Arts Council England.

Hosted by Sadie Sinner, with performances by cabaret star RhyssPieces and a host of Yorkshire talent including drag queen Ditzy O Darlin, poet Audrey Violet, singer Jordan Meriel, singer songwriter, Laura Hegarty and drag king Raymond Petty, the venue was filled with queer cheer. The audience did not disappoint, as they also brought the energy with singing, dancing and general enthusiasm.

Our raffle was back too, with 1st place winning a hamper of queer goodies and treats, and 2nd place winning a gift box from Beer Central. The proceedings went towards the Pay It Forward ticket fund, enabling us to provide those on low incomes and refugees with free or discounted tickets at future events.

RhyssPieces works the crowd at Sidney and Matilda

We would like to say a huge thank you to the crew and volunteers who helped us to run this event. Thank you to those who bought tickets to support the acts, and to those who bought raffle tickets. A huge thanks to all the performers for showcasing their talent, and to Sidney and Matilda for hosting us.

We’re even more geared up for A Reyt Queer Extravaganza, our collaboration with Ghetto Fabulous, supported by Barnsley Civic in July now!

Here are some more photos all taken by Sophie Okonkwo of our acts and audience….

A caramel skinned drag performer wearing a long auburn wig, heavy makeup and red beaded dress on one side. They are wearing short black hair and a black suit on the other side.
RhyssPieces
A white drag performer kneels in front of the crowd. They are wearing a blue leotard with long sleeves, thigh high black PVC boots and a brown mullet wig.
Drag Queen from Donny, Ditzy O Darlin
Jordan Meriel and Leo our BSL interpreter
A group of 7 performers, joined by the co-founder of Andro and Eve (bottom left, wearing pink).

Feeling Fabulous Workshops

A purple two - tone poster with a diagonal colour block effect has the words Feeling Fabulous Workshops in white text in the centre. Some of the purple has a glitter texture. Below are the words Werk a runway, strut, dance and pose!

Werk a runway, strut, dance and pose!

We’re collaborating with Ghetto Fabulous to bring some fabulous queer dance and movement workshops for all levels, to the people of Sheffield.

Feel Fabulous with Ghetto Fabulous. Skimpy clothing not a requirement though!

On three Tuesdays in June, you can join dancers from Ghetto Fabulous to explore queer movement. You will learn to werk a runway, whether you sissy that walk or turn out the trade! Alongside walking you’ll have space to explore finding your own picture perfect poses and style. Use the killa soundtrack to tap into the fierce fabulousness that’s inside of you just screaming to get out.

Wear what ever will make you feel fabulous, just remember you’ll need to be able to dance and move!

If you’re in Sheffield, you’ll need to head to the Montgomery Theatre, where we’ll be taking over the dance studio on the 7th, 14th, and 21st June. If you’re in Barnsley, three sessions will be held on Wednesdays 8th, 15th, 22nd June at The Civic.

These sessions are designed to build the confidence and skills of those new to dance and are open to everyone. You just need to book in advance so we can keep an eye on numbers.

A second block of three workshops will take place on Tuesdays 12, 19, 26 July in Sheffield at the Montgomery Theatre. These extra free sessions are designed to enable participants from the June workshops in both Barnsley and Sheffield to come together and develop their performance skills and form collectives. The collectives will perform together at Andro and Eve’s Reyt Queer Extravaganza, alongside Ghetto Fabulous, and performers from across the North of England, on Saturday 30th July at The Leadmill, Sheffield.

Strike a pose!

Whether you feel super confident about moving your body, or need space to bring you out of your shell, we encourage you to come along to these sessions to meet new members of your queer family, and get inspired and creative. If you attend the June sessions theres no obligation to attend the July workshops, but the July dates are aimed primarily at those who’ve come along to at least one or two of the June sessions.

Need further info? Just drop us a line. We’ll be happy to answer any questions.

You can book for the June Sheffield dates here.

GENDER AWARENESS TRAINING – BOOKING NOW!

a pink square has turquoise squiggles and geometric shapes across it. At the top is Andro and Eve logo of inverted triangle in purple with white writing overlaid. In the centre of the image is the words Gender Awareness Training in purple text.

New for 2022, we’re taking bookings for our Gender Awareness Training!

On February 8th we’re delivering an online Gender Awareness Training aimed at freelancers, individuals and smaller organisations. You can book a place here.

UPDATE – MARCH 2022 – Book a place on this session on Tue 5 April at 6pm here.

This session is designed to pass on knowledge and best practice enabling your team to better serve and meet the needs of clients, customers and service users of all genders, particularly those who fall under the Transgender umbrella.

Drawing upon our extensive experience in meeting the needs of the LGBTQIA community in creating safe and inclusive events, this session covers;

  • Context. Where are we at with Trans Rights in the UK?
  • Terminology. Words have impact. We explore definitions and when to use.
  • Best practice. Looking at case studies and practical steps to implement, in order to be inclusive of transgender and gender diverse people.
  • Sharing experiences. Stories help us make sense of the world. We use practical exercises to help develop understanding.

We cover topics including, language, intersectionality, non binary identities, gender in a global context, feminism, LGBTQ+ herstory and transgender health and equality and the law.

In doing so you will;

  • Feel more confident in your knowledge of the experiences of people who identify as LGBTQ+.
  • Understand what gender inclusive language is and when to use.
  • Understand the practical steps to help build gender inclusive practices and spaces.
  • Take away your own resource sheet with content covered in the session along with further advice and resources.

It was an informative, inspiring and thought provoking session with a friendly facilitator! Thanks!

– Previous Training Participant

This online training session is designed as 2.5 hour session which is inclusive of a 10 minute break. Places are limited in order to facilitate meaningful group discussions. We are offering places on a sliding scale depending on your individual or organisation’s income level.

This training is delivered by Andro and Eve’s Artistic Director Finn Warman who has 12 years experience leading CPD sessions and training for education professionals, artists, and higher education students. Found out more about Finn here.

If you have any questions about this session, please feel free to get in touch. Our Gender Awareness training is still available to book for organisations. Find out more about our bookable Gender Awareness Training here.

Back Together – so much queer joy!

a slim, olive skinned drag king with brown, waist length hair and dark moustache sings into a microphone. He is wearing a sequin black suit with white shirt and bow tie, and smouldering eye shadow. He stands in a cafe with exposed brick walls with warm lighting.

Earliler this month we launched Joyful Noise zine with a cosy evening of food, hot chocolate, zine making and drag performance from drag king, Christian Adore at Sheffield cafe, Birdhouse Tea Bar and Kitchen.

Guests loved having Christian Adore serenade them!

It was wonderful, if a little surreal to be back together in person again. Once we’d got our heads around the extra safety precautions to manage COVID, we all got in the swing of creating an atmosphere of celebration and joy that Andro and Eve is so known for.

There were plenty news faces at the event, and Seleena Laverne Daye, the artist who curated Joyful Noise zine also joined us. Our fab volunteers helped show folk how to make their own mini zines, and seeing the results was a delight!

two youngish white queer people are sat at a table looking at a young, white woman with long hair who is showing them how to fold A4 paper into a mini zine
The Andro and Eve volunteer crew sharing how to make mini zines!

Christian Adore serenaded our guests at their tables, making everyone chuckle with his witty improvised raps, a perfect treat to top of this special event.

a slim, olive skinned drag king with brown, waist length hair and dark moustache sings into a microphone in front of laughing people sat at tables. He is wearing a sequin black suit with white shirt and bow tie, and smouldering eye shadow.

Since the launch we’ve so far managed to raise £235 for Radical Therapist Network’s QTIBIPOC Therapy Fund, which is just brilliant, with stocks of Joyful Noise zine now seriously low.

Joyful Noise zine launch was our first and last IRL event of 2021, but we very much hope (and are planning for) a return to bigger live events in 2022. To help make that a reality, you can donate using the link above. Your support, as always, is so appreciated.

two sets of white hands hold up mini zines with drawings and text sharing joyful things
Zines made on the night of Joyful Noise zine launch

The theme for our zine is…

A

We’re reyt chuffed to share that we have a theme for our new zine! Drumroll please…. Its JOY!

This was chosen by votes collected throughout June from the Andro and Eve community. Using the theme as inspiration artist Seleena Laverne Daye has designed a special session to bring a bit of queer joy to our community this July.

We’re delighted to share that on the 22 July, we’ll be hosting another online workshop, this time focused on textiles. Seleena will be sharing some simple techniques to make your own textile artwork creating a portrait of yourself or someone else that brings you joy in felt form. It’ll be sewing fun for beginners and those more advanced. Time to get crafty with your selfies and hang out online with fellow LGBTQ+ folk!

A set of 3 stylised felt portraits are laid on a table.

We had hoped to bring this session to a physical venue, but after liaison with our partner venue, Theatre Deli Sheffield, and consideration of current COVID infection rates we’ve decided to offer this session online.

Places are limited, but all materials will be provided, you just need to book your FREE ticket in advance if you want to take part.

Tickets are free thanks to funding from the National Lottery Communities Fund. More information on our zine project can be found here.

Find out more about this textiles workshop and book here.

If you can’t make this workshop, after the session we’ll also be sharing a special PDF worksheet for you to create your own artwork at home. Just sign up to our newsletter via the link below to get your hands on this resource!

two events for May!

An east Asian drag king looks smoulderingly into the camera. He has short black quiff with a bleach blonde streak through it and shaved sides. He wears a white dinner jacket and ubuttoned white shirt with a shocking pink bow tie undone.

We’re delighted to share that this May, as part of Sheffield’s Festival of Debate, we are producing two online events.

The first is DRAG BEYOND THE BINARY, a panel discussion, chaired by Andro and Eve’s artistic director, Finn Warman, that aims to shine a light on the UK’s exciting drag scene, exploring how drag has helped expand many people’s understanding of gender. This will take place on Monday 10 May at 5.30 – 7pm.

The panel of UK drag artists including Wesley Dykes, Venus Dimilo and Sigi Moonlight (pictured above) will be reflecting on the ways drag has helped them explore their own sense of identity. With the rise and rise of drag queens in UK culture, this discussion and Q&A will also discuss this visibility, and provide space to reflect on drag beyond the binary and its importance for LGBTQ+ communities.

Wesley Dykes will be appearing on our ‘DRAG BEYOND THE BINARY’ panel event.

The second event, on 17 May at 7.30pm, is a Gender Exploration workshop. This workshop will provide a space for those questioning or wanting to explore their own gender. Andro and Eve’s Artistic Director Finn Warman will be joined by drag artist Christian Adore, to facilitate this creative and playful session.

The words 'Gender Exploration Workshop' are set against a purple and pink blended background.

Using conversations and creative exercises, this workshop will help participants reflect upon and be inspired by different ways to express gender in their own lives, rather than on stage. We’ll be getting participants to think beyond the binary and enjoy some gender fluidity! It is intended as a space for self reflection and connection for people of marginalised and diverse genders.*

We’re really pleased to be part of this renowned Sheffield festival that explores politics, economics and society. When you identify as LGBTQIA+, the personal is political, so its great to be platforming and making space for a diverse range of LGBTQ+ identities. Check out the full programme, happening throughout May, on their website here.

Further info and ticket links can be found on our events page. We hope to see you at one or both events!

Photo credit of Sigi Moonlight – Corinne Cumming

Quiz Time!

The words reyt queer quiz are surrounded by uellow and purple question marks on a turquoise background

Lockdown 3 is the sequel we never asked for, so to quell the disappointment and bring the queer joy, we’ve organised our very own lockdown quiz.

Marking the start of LGBT+ History Month, on Friday 5 February, our special online quiz will test your knowledge of queer culture and hopefully bring a giggle!

Whether you’re flying solo, in a bubble, or locked down with your chosen family, join us for a slice of silly, with a side order of LGBT+ theirstory in our interactive Reyt Queer Quiz. Add in plenty gorgeous prizes from local independent traders, and a sprinkle of fabulous queer performance from Christian Adore, and you’ve got a bit of Friday night magic.

Expect questions on LGBT Hers/ His /Theirstory and queer culture. With interactive elements to keep things the right shade of nonsensical.

Christian Adore will be making a special guest appearance on the 5 February!

You can form a team with pals, or play solo. Max 4 in a team to keep things fair! HOUSEHOLD TICKETS are available for 2 – 4 people in the same house *who will be sharing a screen*. Any questions, just get in touch!

The winning team will win a bundle of delights, including Birdhouse tea, Truffle Pig vegan chocolate, reading material from La Biblioteka, plus Andro and Eve goodies and much more. Prizes for runners up (including treats from Elly Joy) will also be given!

This is a special fundraiser event to support the work of Andro and Eve. We appreciate any extra contributions you can give on top of the price of your ticket.

This event is for ages 18+ only. Book your tickets here!

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