Regurgitating a lettuce head to the tune of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. A powerfully melancholic dance referencing Tupac’s back catalogue. A queer black woman channelling the power of Grace Jones.
This is a small sample of New Queers on the Block, a night of innovative LGBTI art that sparked in the southern seaside town Brighton in the UK.
Yet, it didn’t stop there as it went onto hit the road. Touring local communities across rural England, the cast brought their sequinned art to new audiences.
But now they’re bringing it to the world’s stage with New Queers on the Road, a documentary directed by Rosie Powell premiering today (13 March).
While Brighton’s own Marlborough Theatre presented the project, commissioning agency The Space supported the filming.
So, what’s it about exactly?
New Queers on the Block was a national tour last year of several LGBTI artists.
The show followed a critically acclaimed one-time gig at the Marlborough Theatre. As a result, they packed their bags and took to the streets.
Touring artists included: Rachael Young, Hester Chillingworth, Marikiscrycrycry’s, and Stacy Makishi.
Powerfully pronounced, the performances were presented to packed houses in Brighton, Bradford, Blackpool, Hastings and Folkestone.
It took the potently queer performers to venues that, for many, NQOTB was the first LGBTI show the venue had held.
Moreover, local artists from each town joined the queer quartet, bringing regional flair to every performance.
Archiving this is New Queers on the Road, which tracks the team and shows what it’s really like to take art to the streets.
‘Amazing queer artists of all kinds’
Furthermore, one local artist boarding the bus with the group was Brighton-based spoken word poet and activist, Subira Wahogo.
Speaking to Gay Star News, they said: ‘Touring with New Queers on the Block was incredible.
‘To be surrounded by amazing queer artists of all kinds and getting to take our performances to all these different audiences was such a privilege.
‘I learnt so much, and grew such a real connection with everyone, I’m just grateful I got be a part of it!’
Together, the laundry bag of performers connected queerness to towns not typically known as hotspots of LGBTI energies.
Above all, showing queer kids outside of the big city that queerness – in all its raw, glittery glory – is out, proud, and not going anywhere.