Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Outburst Queer Arts Festival (14-22 November): theatre, film, photos & even some Doctor Who

Outburst Queer Arts Festival aims to bring “world class and new local theatre, performance, film, visual arts and discussion” to Belfast.

In the eight years since the festival began – never mind the 24 years of Belfast Pride – the city’s attitudes towards LGBTQ issues and communities has matured enormously. (Though many acknowledge that the Equality Commission action against Ashers Bakery could be a backward step in good relations as some conservative-leaning groups are choosing to fall out of relationship with LGBTQ communities.)

While not everything on the programme may be to everyone’s taste, there’s certainly a lot to make you sit up and think. Some notable events from the eight day Outburst programme:

Damage is a new play by Patrick J O’Reilly (Hatch; Emcee in Cabaret) that deals with the practice of “gay reparative therapy and the damaging effects of sexual repression and identity”.
Robert doesn’t want to be gay. Louise doesn’t want to be married. Meeting each other to find the reason why it’s all so very wrong.

Damage runs in the Brian Friel Theatre Studio (QFT) on Friday 14 at 7.30pm SOLD OUT and Saturday 15 at 7pm and 9pm. Tickets £12.50.

Regarding Susan Sontag is being screened in the QFT on Tuesday 18 at 8.30pm. The film studies “one of the most important literary, political and feminist icons of her generation”.

Aunty Ben is a play written for audiences from 7 years old and up looking at the experience of nine year old Tracey and her Aunty Ben.
It doesn’t matter to her that Aunty Ben is actually her uncle, or that he’s a drag queen … But when Ben meets her school friends, Tracey is shocked to discover that other people’s families can be very different to her own.

Theatre can be used to open up conversations and help people of all ages understand issues they face – or will face – from safe perspectives. After Belfast, Aunty Ben is heading to London. Sunday 16 November at 3pm. Tickets £6, £3 for under 12s.

Belfast Feminist Network are screening Derby Crazy Love in the Black Box Green Room on Sunday 16 at 2pm with a look inside “the adrenaline-filled world of women’s roller derby”. Tickets £5. It’s followed at 3.15pm by a craft workshop and at 5pm by adults sharing their most embarrassing teenage writing: teen diaries, bad poetry, love letters, the lot! And if roller derby’s your thing, In The Turn is showing in the QFT on Saturday 15 at 3pm.

A Week in my Homosexual Agenda is a photography project running in The Black Box’s Green Room cafĂ© throughout the festical, with an interactive exhibition and a chance for local photographers to upload their shots as the phrase “the homosexual agenda” is explored.

And for anyone mourning the end of the latest Doctor Who series, as part of BFI’s Sci Fi Days of Fear and Wonder celebrations, The Black Box are screening some favourite episodes from Doctor Who on Saturday 22 November between 11am and 3pm. The title Gayllifrey: a queer celebration of Doctor Who reflects some people’s sense that sci fi mirrors the “otherness” of LGBT experiences. You can agree or disagree with that at the panel discussion and the team quiz. Tickets £5.

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