Jade Anouka, Rosie Jones, and Vogue Ball lead the programme

Recovering from lockdown after lockdown, it’s wholly appropriate that the theme for this year’s Homotopia from 28 October - 14 November is “Coming Out”. (And if you can say that without breaking out into the Diana Ross disco classic, then you must be dead inside.)

We want to see LGBTQIA people enjoying themselves and re-connecting as a community

Homotopia, the annual arts and culture festival held in Liverpool, returns in October with a programme celebrating LGBTQIA culture and Queer joy, through theatre, performance, spoken word, film, music and more.

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Jade Anouka is artist-in-residence at this year's Homotopia

2021’s artist-in-residence is Jade Anouka, actor, poet and writer, best known for her role in the BBC series His Dark Materials, and her powerful short film Her & Her, commissioned by BBC Arts as part of “Culture in Quarantine”. 

Jade’s residency at the festival will include a performance workshop, a reading of her new play HEART and a specially commissioned audio story on LGBTQIA parenting.

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Comedian Rosie Jones

In a new night for Homotopia, comedian Rosie Jones leads the line-up for Queer, As In Funny, an evening of laughs, queer comedy talent and surprises at the Capstone Theatre on Saturday 30 October. A celebration of some of the funniest LGBTQIA people on the circuit, more names are to be announced. 

Darren Pritchard Dance presents Family Vogue Ball, and invites everyone to experience the life-enhancing power of the ballroom. Four houses will go head-to-head in an epic vogue ball for all the family. A performer from each house will catwalk, dance and lip sync to be crowned by the audience. 

Part theatre show, part Vogue Ball, expect glamour, glitz and grace in this new show commissioned by Z-arts, Homotopia, Black Gold Arts and supported by Arts Council England.

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Peter Groom stars in 'Dietrich: Live in Liverpool' at St George's Hall

Internationally touring cabaret and drag artist Peter Groom presents Dietrich: Live in Liverpool, a glittering, poignant and uplifting audience with icon Marlene Dietrich in the stunning St George’s Hall

Drawing inspiration from Dietrich’s legendary solo show, performed worldwide during her last years in the limelight, this new cabaret is a sensational event of song that revisits some of the Hollywood star’s most memorable numbers, including Lili Marlene, Lola and, of course Falling in Love Again, with live musical accompaniment.

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Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme present a festive extravaganza at the Playhouse

In an early Holiday Special, your favourite queens, Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme, are coming to Liverpool’s Playhouse Theatre for The Return of The Jinkx & De La Holiday Show, Live! 

Bringing as much festive cheer as they can pack in their carry-on bags, expect an eggnog fuelled festive extravaganza in November.

As well as a return to live events, Homotopia Festival also has a digital offer for those who aren’t yet ready to “Come Out”. Virtual events include Pearl Necklace, a Round the Horne inspired absurdist queer sketch revue for the Tik Tok generation. There will also be an on-demand series of LGBTQIA film shorts from around the globe, available to watch for the duration of the festival.

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David Hoyle hosts a one-of-a-kind evening of performance and provocation

“After months of fear and isolation, at this year’s Homotopia Festival, we aim to showcase queer joy and offer a festival full of fun,” says Char Binns, Homotopia festival director.

“While we’ll never shy away from the big issues affecting LGBTQIA people and our work always has a social justice message, we want to see LGBTQIA people enjoying themselves and re-connecting as a community while we share a passion for art and culture. 

Homotopia 2021 Liverpool Queer Festival Lgtb Vogue Family Ball
Catwalk, dance and lip sync at the Family Vogue Ball

“Sadly, as we’ve started to come out into the world again, Liverpool’s city centre hasn’t been the most welcoming place for our community, with a summer marred by violent hate crimes.

“This year’s festival is a reminder that we’re here, we’re queer and we’re ready to combat any negativity by being even more loud, proud and extra fabulous.”

For the full festival programme visit Homotopia online.

Read next: Top things to do in Liverpool and beyond - September 2021

Read again: Council bids for £270k fund to make our city safer at night

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