Hope Mill Theatre announces rescheduled dates for LGBTQIA+ Theatre Festival ‘Turn On Fest’

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Hope Mill Theatre announces rescheduled dates for Turn On Fest 2021, the annual LGBTQIA+ festival in partnership with Superbia, Manchester Pride’s year round programme of arts and culture. Due to the ongoing restrictions Hope Mill Theatre has decided to take the festival completely online, running from 17th to 28th March 2021.

Headlining the festival will be an evening in conversation with Hope Mill Theatre patron Russell T Davies hosted by Julie Hesmondhalgh.

Ru Paul’s drag star Divina De Campo will be joined by special guests in An Hour with Divina De Campo for two performances, directed by Kirk Jameson.

Superbia, Hope Mill Theatre’s partnering organisation, will also host two key events within the festival.

Manchester based company, Green Carnation Theatre will also be screening four short monologue films called Queer All About It, an evening of film, discussion and conversation.

An Evening with Ryan Jamaal Swain will see the star of smash hit television series Pose discuss his career as a dancer and writer in an online discussion.

Hope Mill Theatre has also offered development grants worth £1,000 as well as mentoring to four Manchester based queer theatre makers.

The festival is now on sale and streamed events can be booked by visiting: hopemilltheatre.co.uk. There will be an option to purchase a festival pass to access all events throughout the festival.

Speaking about the rescheduled Turn On Fest dates, Hope Mill Theatre Artistic Director Joseph Houston said:

“We started 2021 having to postpone Turn On Fest, which was deeply saddening for our venue and artists involved. However, along with the support of the companies, artists, partners and venue team we have managed to not only reschedule the festival but also create a fully online festival for our audiences. In these difficult times it’s important to continue to share stories, create opportunities and engage with audiences, but also in a safe and secure way, which means that at this time we don’t feel it is possible to plan for any live performances during the festival but we are thrilled we are still able to share the amazing line up with everyone.”

Headlining Turn On Fest 2021 will be an evening in conversation with Hope Mill Theatre patron Russell T Davies at 8pm on Saturday 20th March 2021. The evening will be hosted by actress Julie Hesmondhalgh and will look at Davies’ incredible career writing for film and television, including the ground-breaking Queer As Folk, most recent Years and Years starring Russel Tovey and his newest Channel 4 drama, It’s A Sin.

Hope Mill Theatre is delighted to be hosting An Evening with Ryan Jamaal Swain, which will see the star of smash hit television series Pose discuss his career as a dancer and writer in an online discussion on Friday 26th March.

Another festival highlight will be An Hour with Divina De Campo where Ru Paul’s drag star Divina De Campo will be joined by special guests for two performances on Saturday 27th March 2021, directed by Kirk Jameson.

Superbia, the venue’s partnering organisation, will also host two key events within the festival:

Fat Roland: Seven Inch: Set in the last record shop still standing, Manchester comic Fat Roland re-examines his life through not-so-teenage kicks, surrounded by forgettable (and unforgettable) pop music. Originally a five-star, one-idiot commission for The Lowry, this special adaption for the Edinburgh Fringe is making its Manchester premiere.

Make A Scene: Quizabella Rossellini: Make A Scene is Manchester’s big queer film club renowned for their hysterical and loving tributes to camp and LGBT+ cinema and TV. In a Make A Scene first, hostesses Gary James Williams and Grace Oni Smith bring a brand-new show to Turn On Fest – a new comedy game show that takes you on a romp through camp itself! Quizabella Rossellini (named after the iconic star of beloved gay fave Death Becomes Her) celebrates your film, TV and internet knowledge from Wizard of Oz to Chanel the Parrot via Nighty Night through a series of increasingly chaotic and ridiculous rounds.

Manchester based company, Green Carnation Theatre will also be screening four monologue plays made into films – Queer All About It, a celebration of diverse queer stories and new perspectives by four emerging LGBTQIA+ writer exploring: 30+ years of HIV, LGBTQ+ families, LGBTQ+ immigration, and faith & sexuality. These will be available online on Friday 19th March 2021.

Further programming includes We Kiss In a Shadow, a gay cabaret with Tony and Olivier nominated composer/lyricist/ orchestrator Jason Carr.

Hope Mill Theatre has also offered DEVELOPMENT GRANTS worth £1,000 as well as mentoring to four Manchester based queer theatre makers Maz Hedgehog, Suriya Aisha, Finley Letchford-Dobs and Emma Hinds. These four local LGBTQIA+ individuals will showcase and develop their work whilst receiving marketing support, mentorship and rehearsal space:

Let Me Count the Ways by Maz Hedgehog

Maz Hedgehog uses poetry and monologue to examine intimacy, boundaries, the ways we love and the ways we can heal.

Dead Certain by Suriya Aisha

How much weight will your love allow? A white lie? Uncertainty? Overt deceit? They’ve the queer relationship many only dream and read about. What happens when their perfect planned life is put to the test in ways unimaginable? ‘Dead Certain’ a new short play by Suriya Aisha.

Voyage by Finley Letchford-Dobbs

In Voyage, Finley Letchford-Dobbs regains control of his journey as a trans person through dramatized contemporary dance, music and video, a bold reclamation of power in a world that desperately tries to silence him.

PURE by Emma Hinds

PURE is an exploration of sexuality and gender in the Christian church, amplifying the true stories of real women from inside these communities. Written by Emma Hinds, directed by Katie Mitchell.

The venue will also be hosting online queer socials and panel discussions throughout the festival and information on these will be shared on their social media.

Social Media: @turnonfestmcr

Turn On Fest 2021

Online from Sunday 18th- Sunday 28th March 2021

The festival is now on all events can be booked by visiting: hopemilltheatre.co.uk. There will be an option to purchase a festival pass to access al events throughout the festival.

Wednesday 17th March – 7:30pm

FAT ROLAND

£8 +booking- Superbia event

Thursday 18th March – 7:30pm MAKE A SCENE

£8 +booking- Superbia event

Friday 19th March – 7:30pm

Queer All About It

£8 +booking

Saturday 20th March – 8pm

AN EVENING WITH RUSSELL T DAVIES

£8.5 +booking

Sunday 21st March – 6pm

WE KISS IN A SHADOW: Jason Carr cabaret

£10 +booking

Tuesday 23rd March – 7:30pm

LET ME COUNT THE WAYS

£5 +booking- Development grant

Wednesday 24th March – 7:30pm

PURE by Emma Hinds

£5 +booking- Development grant

Thursday 25th March – 7:30pm

VOYAGE

£5 +booking- Development grant

Thursday 25th March – 8:30pm

DEAD CERTAIN

£5 +booking- Development Grant

Friday 26th March – 8pm

AN EVENING WITH RYAN JAMAAL SWAIN

£6.5 +booking- Zoom

Saturday 27th March – 7:30pm & 9.30pm

AN HOUR WITH DIVINA DE CAMPO

£12 +booking

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