Introducing Mama Ghetto and DJ Xzan

Next month we launch our new zine CENTRE, with a special online event, REYT QUEER NIGHT IN, to bring our community together. And of course queer culture will be served up front and centre!

A Black dancer strikes a classic old school Vogue pose on a runway. His hands are around his face and he wears a light suit jacket, jeans and T Shirt. He is lit dramatically by pink and purple lighting.
Darren Pritchard

Part of our offer is a Vogue dance workshop with Mama Ghetto aka Darren Pritchard. Darren is a performer, choreographer, producer and director. He is also a celebrated Vogue performer and Mother of the House of Ghetto Manchester. We’re thrilled he can join us to teach some Vogue moves and flair via Zoom!

Darren says ‘Vogue is important to me, because it embraces my love of dance, my love of QTIPOC culture and allows me to be me and who ever else I want to be. Through the ballroom culture as a Mother I have seen people grow and develop and do things they thought they could never do’.

Manchester’s House of Ghetto have made their name in the Manchester Vogue ball scene with tight choreography performed solely by Black female dancers. House of Ghetto also feature in documentary ‘Deep in Vogue‘, which examines the North West’s Vogue ball scene, and which premiered at BFI Flare in 2019. Darren has produced Vogue Balls throughout the UK including Manchester’s first Black Pride Vogue Ball as part of 2019’s Manchester Pride. Read more about the House of Ghetto and Darren here.

Christian Adore looks sultry, directly at the camera. Christian is 5”5’, dashing young man with a glint in his eye stands before you - Imagine, if you will, that Johnny Depp and Oscar Wilde had a glittery love child, and raised him in the wings of London’s West End. That’s this guy. Thick eyebrows, olive skin, and a finely groomed pencil moustache, with a dark stubbly beard along a sharp jawline. Oh, and a thick mane of wavy black hair which reaches his buttocks
Christian Adore will be leading a PARTY EYES makeup workshop! Photo. Ndrika Anyika.

Our REYT QUEER NIGHT IN is about having fun with your community, so before getting your vogue on with Mama Ghetto, we’re encouraging you to join drag star Christian Adore with his ‘Party Eye’s’ makeup workshop, for all genders. Because remember, makeup has *no* gender! Its bound to be an irreverent and joyful way to get ready for your queer party at home!

A Black non binary person DJ's on some decks. They are lit by purplelighting and wearing a green, geometric patterned shirt and glasses.
DJ Xzan will be performing a live DJ set!

Finally, we’re super excited that DJ Xzan, will be performing a live DJ set 9 – 11pm bringing the party direct to your front room. They’ll be playing a high energy set with plenty queer pop party anthems to help you share in the queer joy. DJ Xzan aka Xandice Armah is an open format DJ from London  and co founder of Gal Pals, the LGBTQ+ dance party centring womxn and excellent pop music. Xzan has supported the likes of Big Freedia, JD Samson, Anna Clavi, MNEK and Mabel, as well as playing at Glastonbury on the Sisterhood Stage.

All those who pre order a copy of CENTRE will get sent a link to the DJ set for free, but if you want to join us from 7pm, you’ll need to get your ticket via Tickets For Good. Sliding scale prices to suit all budgets are available! We hope you can join us on the 10th October, serving your best party looks, and bask in the queer joy!

CENTRE will be available on our online shop for pre sale on the 1st October and posted out around REYT QUEER NIGHT IN on 10th October. The zine is a collaboration with artist Okocha Obasi and created using Arts Council England’s COVID-19 Emergency Funding.

On Live Events

Sister Mary Berry, of drag act, Shesus and the Sisters, wears a hard hat and high vis vest and is squirting an audience member with mist from a bottle looking cheeky.

We are sorry to say we will not be returning to host live, in – person events until Spring 2021 at the earliest. We have taken this decision in light of the ongoing situation with COVID-19 and the need to plan ahead as best we can.

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 cannot see a scenario in which we can bring properly safe and inclusive events to our community until next year. We know many of you, like us, are struggling with anxiety about returning to any sort of normal, and we recognise that we need to adapt.

We have spoken at length with our partner venues about the measures in place to maintain social distancing, and keep audiences and workers safe. Sadly, the capacities allowed in venues would in no way enable us to cover the costs of producing the events we have become known for. We also have the health and wellbeing of our artists, staff team and volunteers to consider. A Reyt Queer Do and The Kingdom Come are meant to be joyous and cosy events. We would rather wait and bring these events back when it feels much safer to do so. Right now, we couldn’t in good faith, host live events indoors when so many people are still shielding, or taking extra precautions to protect those around them.

A crowd, underneath lots of umbrellas hanging from the ceiling at Theatre Deli Sheffield, some seated and a lot standing click their fingers at the live drag artist on stage.
The crowd at A Reyt Queer Do 3, no social distancing needed back in 2019.

Under lockdown we are proud to have continued to support queer artists, delivering a range of creative activity and developing talent in the North of England. It’s been been wonderful to see new and familiar faces at our online workshops. We will be applying for more funding to continue to adapt our offer during these challenging times.

We know this has been a tough time for so many. We plan both to continue to offer online and remote activity, and take time to develop the organisation. We may start hosting in person workshops in Spring 2021, but we also realise there are many unknowns.

We’ve got plenty plans in the pipeline and will share those with you as soon as we can. If you’d like to support our work you can do so by donating via our website. Your support ensures we can continue to support LGBTQ+ artists in these difficult times.

Our new zine, CENTRE, will be launching in October, so make sure you’ve signed up to our newsletter  to be the first to get your hands on a copy and hear about a special online event to mark the occasion.

We can’t wait to return with a bang when it is safe to do so. Till then, we hope you can join us online soon.

With love and solidarity

Andro and Eve x

Lets meet LoUis CYfer!

With just over a month until our our Cabaret College, we caught up with award winning drag king and actor Lucy Jane Parkinson, aka LoUis CYfer who we’re collaborating with for this set of online workshops..

LoUis CYfer was the first Drag King to win the crown at Drag Idol UK and has gone on to become a well known performer in the UK cabaret scene. A regular collaborator with theatre company Milk Presents, they have performed in theatre shows across the UK, balancing their acting and writing alongside appearances as LoUis CYfer. Having led some drag king workshops for us back in November 2019 we’re thrilled they are back to work with us on the Cabaret College. 

An androgynous person dressed in plastic gold armour poses with a hobby horse while a glitter canon goes off behind them
Lucy Jane Parkinson in JOAN. Milk Presents.

Q. Can you tell us about your past work?

As well some stints working in a Chinese takeaway and Morrisons, I have worked in in some of the best cabaret bars in the UK. I’ve travelled all over the world from Texas to Australia, performing both cabaret and theatre. I’ve run workshops which raise awareness around gender, masculinity and drag, alongside some of my favourite people in the whole world (Milk Presents). Together we cleaned up at the Edinburgh fringe a few years ago winning a Fringe First, a Stage Award and Spirit of the Fringe for our hit cabaret theatre show: JOAN. I’ve done lots of work with Milk Presents with shows such as BULLISH and video poetry projects like MY ENGLAND. Before lockdown I had just finished a restoration comedy at the Young Vic Theatre and a drama for the BBC.

Q. What is the character of LoUis CYfer like?

LoUis is like nobody I’ve ever met, he’s charming yet cheeky, he’s strong and masculine but delicate like a soggy dandelion. He’s a dickhead that you can’t help but have fun with.

Q. What got you into drag / cabaret and what do you like best about it?

I was an artist studying my masters and at the same time was having a complete identity crisis; LoUis was my way of processing my confusion. The best thing about cabaret is that the show isn’t someone else’s script, it’s all your own, and having a stage for your voice, (albeit to pissheads), feels like a great opportunity to create discourse in an entertaining manner.

Q. Is there anything about drag and cabaret you’d like to see change? 

Drag and cabaret is always changing and is constantly in flux, if you want me to say I’d like to see more kings I’m not going to do that … What I would like is to be able to see more arts funding for this genre as lots of cabaret artists are living hand to mouth. It would be good if we could apply for funds to make our travelling performances more like conventional touring theatre in terms of having a team and budgets for lighting and sound. Being on your own and doing everything can be a real stress and sometimes you forget to enjoy it.

Q. What do you hope to achieve through the Cabaret College? 

I want to improve the quality of the work on the scene. I’m sick of seeing people have to enter all these competitions to get recognition. It’s not a good start and doesn’t facilitate self – sufficiency and critical reflection for the artist. It is crucial to equip creative people with the tools to make good quality work.

Q. As someone working in the performing arts how have you adapted under COVID? What are you excited about working on in future? 

I’ve gone digital baby!!! This includes working with my own avatar as a way to explore character and technology. I’ve started my own podcast called FANNY KLUB and have been working with my partner in crime Rebecca Banatvala on our queer theatre company Korupt Kabuki. We have been writing monologues for actors to perform to camera, writing our own comedy show BOXTICKERS and thanks to Daisy May Cooper we have been writing our first treatment for a TV show about how we met. It’s been all go here at HQ.. Before lockdown I was due to start 6 months at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in Twelfth Night so once things open up again I’m hopeful they will begin rehearsals and I’ll get my big break back!

Lucy leans over a table to help share drag king makeup skills to two participants who have painted on some thick eyebrows
LoUis facilitating a drag king workshop for Andro and Eve. Nov 2019

Can you tell us about someone that inspires you? 

Without trying to sound like a dickhead, no particular person inspires me. I find moments and memories inspiring but to be inspired I feel like you have to see something in someone else that you aspire to be or have.. I don’t feel like I’ve had the opportunity to see myself in anyone yet. Having said that I wouldn’t mind waking up one morning to find I am Jodie Comer, Victoria Wood, Robin Williams, Cathy Burke or Daisy May Cooper.

To find out more and apply for a place on the Cabaret College course head here and complete the short application form. Deadline 30 July. You can find out more about LoUis CYfer by following him on Instagram. 

CENTRE, a new zine!

This summer we’re very aware that many LGBTQ+ people will be missing the annual Pride celebrations, places where communities can come together and feel free, standing up for what matters to them.

We’re also aware that as event organisers, we can’t physically bring people together. That is why we are collaborating with artist Okocha Obasi to create a zine. Obasi is a graphic designer and recent graduate from Leeds Arts University, and the creator of the RACEZINE COLLECTIVE whose aim is to platform creatives of colour. RACEZINE COLLECTIVE has produced projects include a non-profit zine, performance events and infamous club night TONGUE N TEETH.

Through our collaboration we’re launching the new zine ‘Centre’. The hope is that this can act as method to connect folx across the North of England and provide visibility and a voice to our queer community, particularly those often marginalised.

So with that in mind, here’s what you need to know about our latest project!

CENTRE: A new zine

What’s at your centre? What matters most? What are your hopes for the future, and how is this informed by who you are?

CENTRE is about centering untold stories. We want responses from all ages, and all walks of life, but are particularly interesting in hearing and documenting Queer and QTIBPOC stories in the North of England. We’re also keen to hear from LGBTQIA folx identifying as neurodiverse, deaf or disabled.

We’re looking for responses in the form of: Letters, personals stories, personal historical materials, recipes, interviews, art, comics, drawings, prints, paintings, spoken word, intergenerational collaborations, short stories and anything else that you want to share with the world.

To submit something all you need to do is complete our Google form and attach your submission there. If you have any issues using tech, or need extra support, drop us a line and we’ll do our best to help you.

Deadline for applications is midday on Monday 10th August.

We cannot guarantee that all work submitted will make it into the published zine, however we may (with your permission) publish your work on our website instead.

The zine will be published in the Autumn and launched with a special online event. More details to be announced!

We look forward to receiving your work!

Updated Sliding Scale Tickets

If you’ve booked for one of our events before, you’ll know we offer tickets on a sliding scale to ensure our events stay as accessible as possible. This is made possible through generous donations from the public when buying tickets, and support we receive from grant funding.

In recognition of the fact that many people’s income levels are changeable at the moment and the fact our events for the next 6 months will be online, we’ve adapted our prices for our upcoming events.

A range of ticket options are available for Andro and Eve events. Inlcuding, Free, Unwaged, Low Income, General Entry and Solidarity tickets.

We will have three ticket bands on sale for our upcoming workshops. General, Low Income, and Solidarity. Buying a Solidarity ticket helps contribute to our Pay it Forward ticket fund, ensuring we can continue to provide cheaper and free tickets to those who need them in future. We’re very grateful to those who buy these tickets. You can also add a contribution to this fund when buying tickets.

In recognition of the fact that many who will identify with the ‘Unwaged‘ descriptors *may* be able to afford the ‘Low Income‘ ticket, and to keep things simple, we have just one ‘Low Income‘ option. However, if this price prevents you from being able to attend our workshops, we are offering free bursaries to those in restrictive financial circumstances. Visit the ticket website to find out more.

We are very excited to be back to offering creative opportunities to access queer culture and we look forward to welcoming you to an online event soon!

Staying Queer during COVID-19

We’re happy to announce that we have received Emergency Funding* from Arts Council England to help keep us going and provide a programme of online and remote activity over the next 6 months.

Since cancelling our last event in March owing to COVID-19, we’ve been working hard to adapt to the new climate. We’ve also been trying not to panic at the possibility that the sort of live events we create *may* not be safe to organise until 2021. Our future looked, at best, risky. For that reason we’ve reached out to queer artists in order to generate a programme of activity that will support and uplift our community through these challenging times.

This funding enables us to continue our talent development strand for emerging artists. This will compromise both online workshops for complete beginners led by drag king and musical improv expert, Christian Adore, and a more in depth ‘Cabaret College’ for acts wanting to push their skills and learn how to devise their own material. The latter will be led by actor, writer and drag star Lucy Jane Parkinson, aka Louis CyFer.

A suited drag king with long hair and moustache looks directly into the camera
Christian Adore will lead ‘Drag king workshops’ for beginners

Alongside the talent development, we realise there is a need to connect with and hear the voices of the wider LGBTQ+ community and queer artists. To do this we will be creating a special zine both as a documentation of this strange time and a way to connect that does not rely on digital technology. This project will be led on by Leeds -based artist Okocha Obasi in collaboration with emerging producer Emma Bentley – Fox.

The zine will feature the voices of queer writers and artists alongside work submitted by members of the community who want to share their thoughts / dreams / ideas. We’ll print and distribute and launch with a special online launch party featuring queer performers and DJ set for indoor dancing. Along with this programme the funding will help us redevelop our website, and support staff time to ready the organisation for next steps.

We’re very thankful that we can continue to provide unique opportunities to ‘come together’ through queer culture and look forward to connecting with you all again. We’re also aware, however, that there are many great people and organisations that did not get this funding. It is one of the reasons why we will continue to make our work as accessible as possible and centre those otherwise marginalised.

In the meantime, we have set up a donation form on our website. All donations directly support our work in supporting queer artists and our community. We don’t know when we’ll be able to physically be in the same space again, (though currently we have no plans for physical events until beyond October). Your support ensures that when we can return to physical events, we’ll be back better than ever before.

Want to be the first to find out more about the above projects and opportunities? Sign up to our newsletter now!

Team Andro & Eve x

** Funding received – £10,900.

Welcome to our new Board Members

We’re delighted to announce the appointment of two new board members. Lola White and Ellie Wyer join Andro and Eve founder and CEO, Katherine Warman, as Directors of the board and have been in post as Directors for nearly 3 months.

Lola White

They bring to the organisation a robust set of skills and knowledge in HR, finance, partnerships and organisational development in both the private and public sectors.

Ellie Wyer

Katherine Warman CEO of Andro and Eve says ‘I’m delighted that Ellie and Lola are now part of Andro & Eve as they bring a wealth of expertise that will help develop the organisation. At such a challenging time for the culture sector, we are working hard to respond to the situation we find ourselves in, and are planning ways to adapt our delivery model’.

Andro and Eve celebrates 4 years producing events to celebrate queer culture this week, so we’re very pleased to be able to share this news with you. To find out more about our board and team, head here. 

Vegan Banana Bread

ingredients to make a vegan banana bread are laid on a wooden table. Sugar, flour, wooden spoon, bowl.

We know life is incredibly tough for so many people right now. Not least LGBT+ people isolated from supportive friends and networks that can be a lifeline. We know we’ve been missing our queer community and queer life in Sheffield during lockdown. We’ve been working hard to bring you some content that might prove useful, or bring joy. Our Instagram Stories and Twitter feed are full of news, resources and online events that can help members of the LGBT+ community during this pandemic.

Today we’re sharing something tasty. If you’ve been to one of our events you’ll know how important a feature our cakes are, and we’re missing them. Over the coming week we’re celebrating 4 years since our first event in Sheffield (a cosy screening of Jamie Babbit’s But I’m a Cheerleader, at which a giant cheerleader skirt cake made a splash!)

So what better way to mark 4 years of Andro & Eve than by sharing a recipe from our very own baker, Kat, otherwise know as Kelham Island Kitchen. Her blog is full of delicious vegan cooking, and her cakes are a staple of Andro & Eve events. Fun fact – Kat was the very first volunteer for Andro & Eve, back in 2016!

Ingredients for banana bread on a wooden table. Bananas, sugar, flour, oil.

This cake was featured at our January screening of SILVANA at Yellow Arch Studios. Its proper comfort food, ideal for coping with lockdown life, and not too expensive to make either. We know how hard it is to make ends meet for a lot of folx right now. It may be a quarantine cliche, but an easy banana bread, may be just the tonic. (I certainly enjoyed baking and eating this last week as a test – Katherine). Enjoy!

(And if you do bake this, please tag us @androandeve in any pics. We’d love to see!

Why not chuck in some dark chocolate chips, peanut butter or toast a slice with some coconut yoghurt for breakfast?

Kelham Island Kitchen’s Vegan Banana Bread 

Ingredients 

  • 3 large, overripe bananas
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp mix spice
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 75ml vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100ml oat milk – if it needs it

Instructions 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 (160 fan) mark 4
  2. Grease and line a loaf tin
  3. In a large bowl mix the flour, spices, sugar and baking powder
  4. In a separate bowl mash the bananas then add the oil and vanilla
  5. Mix the dry and wet mixtures together, if needed add the oat milk
  6. After a thorough mix pour into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle some brown sugar on the top
  7. Bake in the oven for 45min – 1hr until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean
  8. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to cool
  9. Enjoy!

 

 

Finding My Community

‘I struggled to find a community that would really support me in my drag journey’

For years, I’ve been interested in becoming a drag king – partly because of my theatre degree and fascination with gender as performance – but I’ve struggled to find a community that would really support me in my drag journey. So, when I saw a poster advertising Andro and Eve’s Drag King Workshop in November 2019, I simply knew I had to sign up for it.

Drag king louis Cyfer tutors workshop participants in drag makeup skills
Drag king Louis Cyfer teaches some drag makeup skills

Before the big weekend, I was buzzing with anticipation, but there was also a fraction of performance anxiety, as the practical workshops, especially comedy and character development, sounded challenging. On the second day of skills workshops, brilliantly facilitated by Katherine and Natalie, I found myself literally crawling on the floor whilst performing my first ever comedy improvisation that made my audience laugh. This wasn’t just confidence-boosting, it really made me realise I could “do” things, if only I was brave enough to take the plunge.

Workshop participants enjoy exploring gender as performance
Exploring gender as performance

The talent within our group is incredible. Some are charismatic performers, there are actors, singers, musicians and dancers, but everyone is warm and supportive. Our little community thrives on WhatsApp and some of us have met up at local events, such as Andro and Eve’s own Reyt Queer Do. The friendships forged at the workshop are proving an invaluable source of positive energy and inspiration during these strange times. I admit I can’t wait until I see the other Kings again on the other side of lockdown.

Andro & Eve director Katherine leads a session in gender as performance. They are sat in chairs having fun 'manspreading'.
Katherine Warman, Andro & Eve creative producer leads a session in gender as performance.

Developing Tristan – my drag king alter-ego – brings me a lot of joy. He still hasn’t quite found himself but he started his own life on social media and I’m looking at developing more comedy material, especially bad poetry. I’m truly grateful to Andro and Eve for giving me the tools to this wonderful, creative outlet and helping me find my place within the queer arts community.

Maria.

A group discusses creative ideas about creating scenes

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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