Arm the confetti cannon and break out the Bedazzler, MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture has raised the curtain on another program of spectacular events, dazzling performances and provocative discussions.
The 10-day festival runs from 28 June to 7 July 2019 with a packed program designed to celebrate LGBTIQ+ arts and culture and promote visibility and inclusivity among the LGBTIQ+ community. Close to 35 productions, exhibitions and events will inject both sparkle and substance into Brisbane Powerhouse when the premier arts organization presents MELT for its fifth year.
Guest Director Emily Gilhome said MELT would again roll out the rainbow carpet to welcome everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, ability and artistic interest. “We’ve worked really hard this year to produce a program that represents all segments of the LGBTIQ+ arts community,” said Ms Gilhome.
“This year’s festival also offers incredible diversity across its content so we’re seeing outrageous cabaret, over-the-top comedy and a bigger and better MELT Beauty Pageant sitting alongside deeply introspective visual art exhibitions, though-provoking panels and talks, and powerful first-person pieces.”
MELT’s 2019 program shines the spotlight on talented local artists as well as national and international drawcards and features a mix of free and ticketed events across the 10 days.
Highlights include international cabaret superstar Reuben Kaye showcasing his signature blend of lavish storytelling and gilded song; Australian cabaret queen Dolly Diamond bringing classic TV game show Bl*nkety Bl*nks to the stage; and the MELT Comedy Gala – hosted by Rhys Nicholson and pairing queer comedy legends with emerging comedians for a night of non-stop laughs.
Killer Queens is guaranteed to blow your mind with five ferocious females embracing glam rock and immersing audiences in the music of Freddie Mercury; while Six Inches pulls some of theatre’s most beloved characters from the closet and through the musical gender-blender in a high voltage history lesson in drag from the creative team behind the BOY&GIRL series.
A collection of vastly different theatre pieces play out across Brisbane Powerhouse stages; from Baby Bi Bi Bi – a wickedly funny cabaret about being a bisexual woman; to La Silhouette – an immersive performance that brings to life Brisbane’s queer history; and Yank! – a musical love story based on the real-life experiences of gay soldiers in World War II.
MELT again provides a platform to hear the voices of Brisbane’s LGBTIQ+ community tell their unique stories across all mediums including The Trailblazers – Elders Panel; first-person piece, My Trans Story; improvisational work, Trade; and verbatim theatre production, Letters I Never Sent.
Festival favourites returning in 2019 include the show stopping MELT Beauty Pageant – expanding to include heats and a final – Tragic Trivia, Gayming, MELT With Us opening night party and The Bowery Haus closing night costume soiree.
Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewart said MELT was an annual invitation to celebrate Brisbane’s wonderfully diverse queer communities and its guest list was growing each year.
“Brisbane Powerhouse has been a home for the LGBTIQ+ community since we opened our doors, so it’s been brilliant to watch MELT thrive, attracting more than 8,500 attendees in 2018,” said Mr Stewart. “MELT’s 2019 program is a celebration of love, pride, humour, humanity and rebellion but above all, it’s one of acceptance and inclusivity.”
MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture takes place at the Brisbane Powerhouse from 28 June to 7 July 2019. For more information, visit: www.meltfestival.com.au for details.
Image: Reuben Kaye (supplied)