Here’s all of the 2021 highlights at queer arts festival MELT


melt festival reuben kaye violet crowned brisbane powerhouse queer arts
Photos: Brisbane Powerhouse

Brisbane Powerhouse’s MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture has raised the curtain on its 2021 program ahead of the festival in May.

The festival is returning for its sixth year from Thursday, May 20 to Sunday, May 30. MELT’s 2021 program, unveiled today, features more than 15 events over 11 days.

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The lineup spans genres including cabaret, music, theatre and visual arts and more, featuring a mix of home-grown heroes and festival favourites.

Fabulous fan favourite Reuben Kaye (pictured centre) declares The Butch is Back in the award-winning Australian comedian and singer’s new show.

The sexy Showguys (pictured above, right) is a boylesque and drag tribute to the 1995 cult classic film Showgirls.

The high-kicking MELT Beauty Pageant features Brisbane drag talent performing for an all-star judging panel.

Killer Queens returns with five females performing the songs of Freddie Mercury, with a sprinkling of Bowie and Prince.

Dark cabaret God is in the House explores the intersection of “sublime sexuality and spiritual matters.” Poetic play Violet-Crowned gives the works of Sappho a modern spin.

Thought-provoking plays People of Colours and Queer as Flux also tell stories and break boundaries.

MELT Portrait Prize will award a local artist

The annual MELT Portrait Prize is also returning in May. The competition gives visual artists the chance to celebrate LGBTIQ+ community heroes.

The Portrait Prize is running in conjunction with Silenced in the Shadows by Dan Molloy. The photo exhibition shines a light on the emotional battles of many LGBTIQ+ Pacific Islander and Indigenous people.

Opening MELT is the internationally acclaimed performance event Truth to Power Café from Jeremy Goldstein. Goldstein reflects on loss, hope and resistance is told through memoir, image, poetry, music and live testimony from community participants.

Also, queer writers Holly Throsby, Holden Sheppard, Ellen van Neervan will discuss their work with host Ed Ayres in Queer Lit.

Free events include Spill the Tea, a chat show hosted by Richie LeStrange and Christina Draguilera. Rainbow Families Queensland is also hosting the free family-friendly Rainbow Craft and Storytime.

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See the full MELT 2021 lineup at the website here. Tickets are on sale now.

MELT festival is a favourite of Brisbane’s queer community

Last year, COVID-19 forced the cancellation of MELT. Now the festival’s return in May allows the community to kick up its heels after a tough year.

Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewart said the venue has been “a home for the LGBTIQ+ community” since it opened 21 years ago.

“MELT belongs authentically to the local community and is our most creatively diverse event,” Stewart said.

“It’s got big and bright large-scale works to intimate, honest and deeply personal shows.

“We are so excited to leave 2020 in our wake and have a lot of fun with a venue-wide celebration of queer arts and culture. [The shows] push boundaries, explore unique art forms and share important stories.”

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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