So What Have We Been up To?

Happy LGBT+ History Month! Its been very busy the last 6 months at Andro & Eve, so we thought it was high time we gave you all an update on what’s been going on!

In November we hosted our first Drag King Workshop Weekend in collaboration with award winning drag king Louis Cyfer, and founder of the Women’s Comedy Network, Natalie Diddams at our partner venue, Theatre Deli Sheffield. (Sidenote: Go support their fundraiser to support this brilliant indie arts space!)

13 participants from across the North of England and the Midlands joined us to learn skills in makeup, character development, gender as performance and creating comedic material, with an informal sharing at the end of the weekend. Feedback from participants was very positive, and we gained a lot of insight into what worked, and where we could push this talent development further. Comments from participants included;

‘I liked the thought, love and organisation that went into the weekend, it was wonderful. I felt very safe and cared for’.

‘I learnt it’s okay to take time and to take up space’.

Jason Andrew treated us to some vogue dance at Cast.

A few days after our Drag King Weekender we headed over to Cast in Doncaster for our first Donny event, A Reyt Northern edition of queer cabaret, A Reyt Queer Do. Louis Cyfer was back for hosting duties with performances by House of Ghetto’s Jason Andrew, and up and coming talents, Ding Frisby, Spent Reznor and Donny Lad. An audience of 60 people turned out and we were thrilled with the support, and to meet so many new faces. There was a lot of laughter in the room that night, and the 6 weeks of outreach work in the run up to the event clearly paid off. Thanks to Cast for their support in developing our audience! Doncaster folk commented

‘Thanks for an amazing night, it made hump day bright and beautiful’.

Rapper Bad Lay – Dee

We rounded off November with a big queer party and cabaret back at Theatre Deli with A Reyt Queer Do 5. This ‘Shine Like a Diamond’ edition was hosted by non – binary rapper Bad Lay Dee with performances by poet Maz Hedgehog, theatre maker Victoria Firth and drag kings Sveto Slava and Dickhead Dave Debonair. DJ Chardine Taylor – Stone from punk band Big Joanie ensured everyone got a chance to raise the roof once the performances were done.

In January we collaborated with DocFest to produce a cosy film screening at Yellow Arch. We chose to screen the brilliant documentary SILVANA, about Swedish rapper Silvana Imam, after seeing this film at Doc/Fest in 2018. The film follows Imam’s rise to fame, her experience as an immigrant in Sweden and new romance with Swedish lesbian pop star, Beatrice Eli. Cake and cosy vibes were enjoyed by all, and we think it’s is fair to say most of the audience fell hard for this lesbian power duo!

Silvana Imam and Beatrice Eli giving face

In between running all these events we successfully recruited a new Assistant Producer, Emma, who brings with her a wealth of marketing and event experience. We’ve also had some fab new volunteers join the team and been recruiting a new board of directors (more news on that coming soon) and planning our events for 2020.

Currently, Andro & Eve is featured in a new exhibition to celebrate LGBT+ History Month at Sheffield’s Central Library. It’s great to see this sort of visibility and recognition, especially at a time when mainstream media seems intent on sowing division between different communities.

We’re also gearing up for our biggest drag king cabaret to date, The Kingdom Come on 21st March at Abbeydale Picture House. It’s going to be a special Under the Sea Edition! Hosted by star on the rise Christian Adore and featuring a line up of ridiculously hot and talented drag kings, its going to be a night to remember.

Christian Adore is headed to Sheffield. Hold onto your hats!

We’re forever grateful for those in our community who have gone before, making space for the LGBT+ community to come together, and are proud to be continuing this work. But we know only too well how precarious the creation of queer friendly spaces are. Want to support your LGBT+ community now and help us continue this work? Then nab a ticket and come feel the mer love at The Kingdom Come! See you then!

A special thanks to all those who continue to support our work, giving their time, money or expertise to help us grow, and Arts Council England for funding much of the work of the last 6 months.

KW x

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.

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

 

 

 

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