18 MAR 2021

From solidarity through storytelling to confetti-covered cabaret, MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture has torn the wrapping off a spectacular program of events and performances at Brisbane Powerhouse from 20 – 30 May 2021.

The 2021 program features more than 15 inspiring and entertaining events over 11 days, spanning genres including cabaret, music, theatre and visual arts and starring an eclectic mix of home-grown heroes and Festival favourites.

Opening MELT on Thursday 20 May is the internationally acclaimed performance event Truth to Power Café, created, written and performed by Jeremy Goldstein. The profound theatrical reflection on loss, hope and resistance is told through memoir, image, poetry, music and live testimony from community participants.

Fabulous fan favourite Reuben Kaye declares The Butch is Back in the award-winning Australian comedian and singer’s sensational new show on Thursday 27 May.

The high-kicking MELT Beauty Pageant returns on Friday 21 May with an all-star judging panel crowning the best of the best.

Killer Queens returns with five ferocious females performing interpretations of songs by Freddie Mercury, with a sprinkling of Bowie and Prince, on Saturday 29 May while Showguys is a boylesque and drag tribute to the 1995 cult classic film Showgirls on Friday 28 May.

The Studio performance space hosts a diverse program of world premieres including hallowed cabaret God is in the House and poetic play Violet-Crowned from 20 – 22 May, followed by the thought-provoking People of Colours and storytelling piece, Queer as Flux from 27 – 29 May.

The annual MELT Portrait Prize returns from 20 May – 13 June and runs in conjunction with Silenced in the Shadows by Dan Molloy, a series of strikingly raw photographs portraying the emotional battles faced by many LGBTIQ+ Pacific Islander and Indigenous people.

Some of Australia’s finest queer writers – Holly Throsby, Holden Sheppard, Ellen van Neervan and host Claire Christian – come together in conversation on Sunday 23 May to discuss their recent works in Queer Lit, part of Brisbane Powerhouse’s Writers+Ideas program.

Lesbian Love Stories takes over Powerhouse Theatre with their debut on Saturday 22 May, featuring anonymous true tales of love from across the globe in a heart-warming performance delivered through song and speech by three powerhouse women.

The party continues with free events including Spill the Tea, a chat show hosted by Richie LeStrange and Christina Draguilera on 22 and 28 May, a special MELT Livespark event on Sunday 30 May and the family-friendly Rainbow Craft and Storytime morning on Saturday 22 May.

Returning for its sixth year, Queensland’s most exciting celebration of LGBTIQ+ arts and culture, programmed by Guest Director James Lees, gives the community an excuse to kick up its heels after COVID-19 forced MELT’s cancellation in 2020.

Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewart said the premier arts and cultural venue had provided a home for the LGBTIQ+ community since it first opened its doors 21 years ago.

MELT belongs authentically to the local community and is our most creatively diverse event; from big and bright large-scale works to intimate, honest and deeply personal shows,” Mr Stewart said.

“We are so excited to leave 2020 in our wake and have a lot of fun with a venue-wide celebration of queer arts and culture that pushes boundaries, explores unique art forms and shares important stories.”

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner welcomed the return of MELT as a celebration of the LGBTIQ+ community and a showcase of Brisbane’s inclusivity.

“One of Brisbane’s greatest strengths is that we respect and embrace diverse backgrounds and experiences,” Cr Schrinner said.

“I want Brisbane to be a city where talent can thrive and MELT provides just that, an essential lifeline for our creative community and talented local artists.”

MELT: Festival for Queer Arts and Culture is presented by Brisbane Powerhouse, proudly supported by festival partners Brisbane MINI Garage, Herbert Smith Freehills, The Constance, Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland, Queensland Council for LGBTI Health, QNews and creative partner Nick Did This.

MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture returns to Brisbane Powerhouse from 20 – 30 May 2021. To view the full program and purchase tickets, click here.