Nobody knows how to adapt and survive to strange times like the queer community and Liverpool’s Homotopia Festival is back with a bang for 2020 and a dynamic line-up of physical events and online happenings.

In a year where everything has changed, the UK’s longest running LGBTQIA arts and culture festival will reach out into new places and spaces, including a drag promenade down Liverpool’s Hope Street, a ‘Queer the City’ art crawl and a series of virtual events with Fox Fisher, Artist in Residence. 

Fox is an award-winning artist, author and human rights campaigner, and the co-founder of ‘My Genderation’, a film project that celebrates trans lives and experiences. Fox will curate a special screening of film shorts and be interviewed by Liverpool-based artist and Trans Rights campaigner Sophie Green for an intimate ‘In Conversation’ livestream. 

Theatre has always been at the heart of Homotopia and it’s been revealed that the programme will see the first artists since March to perform live on stage at the Everyman. 

The ‘Homotopia and Friends Fabulous Cabaret’ on Friday 13 November is the first of three shows to take place at the theatre during the festival as the Everyman re-opens. 

Homotopia’s homegrown talent programme ‘QueerCore’ brings together LGBTQIA artists and performers for a riotous show featuring drag artist Pretentious Dross (feature image), poetry from the QueerBodies collective, Mooncup Theatre and comedian Erinn Dhesi.

Homotopia Festival 2020 Jade Anouka

Jade Anouka

On Saturday 14 November, the Everyman hosts a double bill that puts trans performers and stories centre stage. ‘Sound Cistem’ is a celebration of what it means to be trans or non-binary, created from real nightclub interviews and set within a glittering disco. It’s the closest thing any of us will get to a night out on Eberle Street, so book your tickets quick. 

The second show, S/he/it Happens, is performed by ground-breaking trans artist Mitchell Jay and explores dysphoria and identity through physical comedy, slapstick and wit. 

Char Binns, Director of Homotopia, says, “Seven months on from the start of lockdown and the only buildings in the city with the lights still off are theatres and music venues. Artists and creatives have produced amazing online work, but there is nothing quite like live theatre. 

“That’s why we’re so excited to work with the Liverpool Everyman to bring audiences back to experience the thrill of live arts. We are doing everything we can to ensure that the theatre is fully compliant and as COVID safe as possible, whilst offering an incredible live experience.”

Other highlights of this year’s Homotopia include a livestream of Liverpool’s most eclectic poetry night ‘A Lovely Word’, headlined by Jade Anouka. The multi-talented writer, director, poet and actor has thrilled audiences in a diverse range of roles, from Shakespeare at London’s Donmar Warehouse to the ITV medical thriller ‘Trauma’ and Michaela Coel’s hilarious ‘Chewing Gum’ on Channel 4. Jade’s most recent work includes the short film ‘HER & HER’ for BBC Arts, a lyrical and musical story told through poetry and beatboxing.

‘QueerCentric’ is the festival’s unofficial closing party organised by Liverpool Queer Collective and promises an eclectic line-up of emerging musicians and performers. It may be online this year, but you can still expect an immersive and intimate night filled with sumptuous music, beats and lyrical excellence.

For the full Homotopia Festival programme visit homotopia.net

Vicky M Andrews