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Homotopia Festival 2014

 d4965f53-f3b9-726c-1d19-31c4b960d284-bannerNow well underway, and having  secured Homotopia’s future for another 3 years with renewed Arts Council support, the 2014 festival is packed with exciting national premieres (DV8), regional firsts (Andy Warhol and Catherine Opie exhibitions) unique collaborations (Fenella Fielding and Le Gateau Chocolat) and exclusive appearances (Terence Davies) that appeal to audiences gay and straight alike.

This year’s festival sees Homotopia continuing its partnership with the Walker Art Gallery (Opie) and forging new partnerships with Liverpool Playhouse (DV8) and a marketing partnership with Tate Liverpool (Warhol).

In a year dominated by the equal marriage vote here in the UK we interrogate faith and sexuality ‘In Conversation With Terence Davies’ and Vicky Beeching and Peter Tatchell in the Diva Debate. Homotopia  also looks to Africa where several nations have passed or are considering anti-gay legislation with Le Gateau Chocolat and Mojisola Adebayo.

Full festival listings can be found at

Here are some of the events

The Gang: Photographs by Catherine Opie   Now to 15 February 2015 @ Walker Art Gallery

The first solo UK exhibition for this renowned American artist outside London. Opie’s portraits of her friends from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer community subvert American archetypes. Opie’s attempt to make visible a misunderstood sector of American culture, produces a body of work that is at times explicit and challenging in its content, but also playful and intimate. The exhibition has been organised with the kind support of the artist, the Stephen Friedman Gallery in London and Homotopia.

Lee Baxter & David Hoyle present David’s Place     1 – 22 Nov @ Fall Out Factory, Dale Street

 Performer & artist David Hoyle presents a new exhibition exploring addiction, gay culture and mental health which premieres at Homotopia.  In his first solo exhibition for Homotopia, Hoyle has created a stark & uncompromising series of paintings and collages reflecting his own life experiences. ‘David’s Drop In’ – on Saturday 1, Sunday 2 & Saturday 8 November at 2pm David will be hosting a drop-in at the gallery exploring his artistic practice and background to this new collaborative exhibition.

Rainbow Jews      Sat 1 to Tues 25 Nov @ Unity Theatre foyer

Rainbow Jews is a unique oral history and archive project, exploring the intersection of Jewish and LGBT identities. Discover how the stories and experiences of LGBT Jewish people have shaped British culture from the 1950s to today. Explore the truly diverse range of Jewish voices: Ultra-Orthodox lesbians, bisexual rabbis, gay Holocaust survivors and transgender activists.

Force/collision present ‘Jarman (All this maddening Beauty)’    Tues 4 & Weds 5 Nov @ Unity Theatre

With text by Obie-winning U.S. playwright Caridad Svich and film and audio content featuring over 40 performers Force/Collision founder John Moletress performs this sensual meditation on beauty, love, sex and mortality attempting to capture the essence of artist, film-maker and queer cult figure Derek Jarman. Manipulating film and sound whilst performing live, Moletress unravels his own story of survival as an artist.

Le Gateau Chocolat presents Black  Thurs 6 & Fri 7 Nov @ Unity Theatre

 A Homotopia commission last year Black returns after a successful run at the Soho Theatre, London. Classically trained opera baritone and cabaret legend Le Gateau Chocolat presents his life story from Nigeria to Brighton via the Sydney Opera House stage. With a repertoire ranging from Wagner, and Purcell to a show-stopping, heart wrenching version of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ this production exudes warmth, humour and pathos. “Throughout the performances Le Gateau’s voice is a treat. Within a few bars we hear growling despair, softly-spoken hope and soaring joy.” Exeunt Magazine

article-1345476310544-149f24f5000005dc-492036_636x300Polari Salon featuring Jonathan Harvey      Thurs 6 Nov @ Unity Theatre

Winner of the 2013 Co-operative Respect LGBT Cultural Event of the Year author Paul Burston hosts an evening with V G Lee and Liverpool favourites Jonathan Harvey, Clare Campbell and Gerry Potter.

Transmitting Andy Warhol    7 Nov – 8 Feb 2015 Tate Liverpool

 Transmitting Andy Warhol presents the first major solo exhibition in the north of England that focuses on Warhol’s expanded practice. Bringing together over 100 artworks including; the iconic Marilyn Diptych, the entire print run of his trailblazing celebrity magazine Interview, as well as the extraordinary stage-set for The Velvet Underground, discover how Warhol’s practice spanned every medium, transforming the way we consume culture today.

Fenella Fielding in My Scouse Voice   Fri 7 Nov @ Unity Theatre

 Fenella’s career has stretched over 7 decades and encompassed Carry On films, Ibsen plays, stage musicals and the Morecambe and Wise show. Now she returns to Homotopia to lend her instantly recognisable seductive vocal tones to poetry by Gerry Potter. A night of unique collaborations and conversations as Le Gateau Chocolat joins Fenella and Gerry on stage.

Terence Davies In Conversation    Saturday 8 Nov @ The Black-E, George St, L1

Liverpool born Terence Davies talks about his long illustrious career as a filmmaker, growing up in post war Liverpool and the conflict between his homosexuality and faith. Davies is arguably one of the most distinct English voices in modern cinema, renowned for the meticulous care that transforms each new release into a highly anticipated cultural event. A member of the distinctive generation of BFI- nurtured directors whose ranks notably included Derek Jarman, Sally Potter, Bill Douglas and Peter Greenaway. “Regarded by many as Britain’s greatest living film director” Nick Roddick, London Evening Standard.

Scars On Sunday ‘A Honky Tonk Mass’     Sun 9 Nov @ Frederik’s, Hope St, L1

An irreverent night of cabaret, worship, song and dance starring David Hoyle as Noele Gordon as ‘herself’. With special guest, comedian David Mills & spectacular choreography by Carlos Pons.

Dance Triple Bill    Tues 11 Nov @ Unity Theatre

Body of Light by Darren Pritchard – Uses the Microsoft Kinnect sensor to mix human movement with computer imagery. My Empty Closet by Connor Quill – the emotional struggles of a gay man raised by lesbian parents. O Maria by DeNada Dance Theatre – A tale of ham and bondage, where a divine apparition unleashes a torrent of unquenchable passions for an oddly paired couple in 50’s Seville.

Diva Debate ‘You Gotta Have Faith’    Weds 12 Nov @ Unity Theatre

Join Diva editor Jane Czyselska and veteran human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell to discuss faith with Christian commentator and musician Vicky Beeching, Rose Neelam, a muslim and Project Director of Safra, and lesbian Rabbi Ariel Friedlander.

David Mills presents Gimme Some Sugar    Thurs 13 Nov @ Unity Theatre

 American comic David Mill’s sharp suited cocktail swagger and hilarious rants come to Liverpool. An hour of jokes skewering celebrity, the gays and modern life. Equal parts witty banter and salty sarcasm.

Nick Phillips in Ecce Homo   Fri 14 and Sat 15 Nov @ Unity Theatre

 In this intimate epic cabaret, with touches of 30’s Berlin, music hall and Broadway, Naughty Nickers dishes up tales of his time with the legendary Bloolips, his 34 year romance with Dr Jeffrey and how he left his heart and much more in San Franscisco. His personal recollections become not only a love story but a testament to the social history of the gay movement from the late 1970’s to the present.

Mojisola Adebayo Retrospective  Sat 15 Nov @ Unity Theatre

 Performer and playwright Mojisola presents excerpts from her work including the powerful ‘I Stand Corrected’ which was created with support of the British Council South Africa as a response to so-called ‘corrective’ rape of lesbians. “…there are very few plays that receive an almost unanimous standing ovation on a press night. It goes without saying that I Stand Corrected was my favourite production of the year.” Iman Qureshi, DIVA Magazine

Bambi (Documentary)    Thurs 20 Nov @ Picturehouse at FACT

 Directed by Sébastien Lifshitz, the film is a profile of Marie-Pierre Pruvot, an Algerian-born trans woman who had a long and prominent career as a dancer and showgirl in Paris at La Carrousel Du Paris in the 1950s and 1960s, under the stage name Bambi, (where she also met April Ashley MBE) before becoming a university professor. The film won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary Film at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.

Debs Gatenby presents Hi Anxiety    Thurs 20 Nov @ Lantern Theatre

 Hi, Anxiety explores one person’s (actually, two people’s…) experience of mental illness.  With one in four of us estimated to experience mental illness, Debs Gatenby’s one woman show is a laugh out loud funny yet wistful look at how mental illness affected her.  And her mum. As Deb says: “It’s two breakdowns for the price of one, an emotional meal deal.”

Truant, Homotopia and Oldham Coliseum presents Still Ill    Fri 21 and Sat 22 Nov @ The Lantern Theatre

Ulster. The Troubles are over. Police stations are closing down. Sex shops are opening up. Tommy can’t believe all the changes, but then he bumps into Gary, his old friend and fellow fan of The Smiths. The two men start a dangerous affair that pulls Tommy back into a world of violence he hoped had disappeared. A tragic gay love story between ‘the jumped up pantry boy’ and ‘the boy with the thorn in his side’. Written by Billy Cowan. Directed by Joyce Branagh

Winner of Warehouse Theatre’s International Playwriting Award. Special Recommendation Verity Bargate Award.

Speaking Through Flowers     November  2014  – February 2015 @ Liverpool Central Library & touring youth centres across Merseyside

 Violence has no boundaries, homophobia and transphobia do not remain within national frontiers and it is found throughout all classes of society. With the sound-sculpture project Talking Through Flowers (Durch die Blume) artist Tobi Mohring has created a free-standing vase with metal blooms that can talk. The sound sculpture project aims to raise awareness, inform and to encourage people to listen to the experiences of other people.