Glasgay! Festival turns 21 this month, celebrating its coming of age in what has been a monumental year for its home city of Glasgow. Part of the Year of Homecoming festivities, the festival has put together another first-class celebration of LGBT culture, offering an eclectic mix of theatre, comedy, music, spoken word, visual art, film, parties and more.
Now the biggest LGBT multi-arts event in the UK, Glasgay! 2014 looks back on LGBT lives and rights throughout history, be it controversial affairs between 19th century French poets (Slope) to growing up gay in 70s and 80s Dundee (there were two brothers). Equally important is the programme’s highlighting of LGBT talent from Scotland and beyond, from Glasgow-based director and writer Drew Taylor’s HOWL[ing], an epic poem inspired by Ginsberg’s seminal piece, to ground-breaking comedy from controversial US stand-up Scott Capurro.
Check out a few highlights from the festival below, taking place at various venues around Glasgow from 20 October – 15 November, or visit glasgay.co.uk to download the full programme.
Colquhoun & MacBryde
Tron Theatre. 8pm, 29 October – 8 November
Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde met at Glasgow School of Art in the 1930s, striking up a professional and romantic relationship that would last their entire lifetimes. Though little-known figures now, the pair went on to stun the London art world with their post-modernist paintings but quickly fell into a life of hedonism and destitution. See Scottish playwright John Byrne bring the charismatic pair to life in this fast-paced play starring Andy Clark and Stephen Clyde, or discover their work at the Two Roberts exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh from 22 November.
Vikki Stone: Instrumental
The Stand. Doors 7.30pm, Monday 10 November
Having enjoyed a string of four- and five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer, Vikki Stone returns to Scotland with Instrumental, a comedy-musical concoction created using some 20 different instruments. Heartfelt and genuinely hilarious, the show is a journey through the multi-talented Stone’s life thus far, from her awkward teen years at music school to the time she sang with Elton John.
Rose & Grants Café. 9am – 5pm daily
Inspired by the XX Commonwealth Games that took place in Glasgow in July and August, Sporting Heads celebrates the growing visibility of LGBT people in sport with photographic portraits of athletes who have come out. Commonwealth Gold medallists Tom Daley and Matthew Mitcham, snowboarder Belle Brockhoff and volleyball player Natalie Cook are amongst the personalities featured, as well as former champions such as Billie Jean King.
Mouse & Reservoir Ducks
The Art School. 11pm – 3am, Friday 14 November
Everyday Courage present a special edition of their queer club night for Glasgay!, featuring special guest Mouse. This month’s event – a blend of live performance, visuals and printed matter, programmed and realised by DJ Hush and artist Casey O’Connell – will also include Reservoir Ducks, a performance about two ducks learning about gender power and waitress tipping by artist Anna Frisch.
My Prairie Home
Glasgow Film Theatre. 5.30pm, Sunday 9 November
Canadian indie musician Rae Spoon, who is transgender, returns to their native Alberta in this beautiful musical-documentary. Shot in the Canadian Prairies by director Chelsea McMullan, the film looks back on Spoon’s childhood living with Pentecostal parents obsessed with the rapture and the singer-songwriter’s past experiences with gender confusion.
John Waters: This Filthy World 2
O2 Academy. 7pm, Friday 14 November
Finally, legendary writer and director John Waters (Hairspray, Pink Flamingos) headlines Glasgay! 2014 with the only Scottish performance of his new spoken word show, This Filthy World Vol.2. Known as ‘The Pope of Trash’, Waters tells stories from his childhood in Lutherville, Maryland, discusses obsessions including crime and Catholicism, and reveals secrets from his 50-year career in Hollywood.
If you can’t make it to the main festival, look out for selected Glasgay! shows at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh: HOWL[ing] will be making its capital debut on 16 October, while Untitled Projects’ Slope will be staged from 26 – 29 November.