Just back from supporting Cher on tour, the South Wales born and New York based pop sensation, Bright Light Bright Light is headlining the second ever Pride in Trafford celebrations in May 2020 – a collaboration between the Mayor of Trafford, Waterside Arts and Creative Industries Trafford. This five day festival looks to explore and celebrate identity and LGBTQ+ life across the region.
Inspired by the world of 80s and 90s cinema and deemed “completely irresistible” by The Guardian and “Wales’ finest export” by Gay Times, Bright Light Bright Light takes his music around the world, using his platform to raise awareness and money for many LGBTQ+ charities. He began his career on the London Underground, and has since toured not only with Cher, but with the likes of Elton John, Erasure, Scissor Sisters, Ellie Goulding and John Grant. His one off headlining gig for Pride in Trafford takes place at Waterside on Friday 15 May.
Bright Light Bright Light is also a much-loved DJ and has performed at Glastonbury, Bestival and numerous Pride festivals, whilst also running the legendary, weekly Time Out Recommended party in New York – Romy & Michele’s Saturday Afternoon Tea Dance at Alan Cumming’s East Village club. A first for Greater Manchester – this unique event comes to Waterside for the very first time on Saturday 16 May.
These two special events are presented as part of Pride in Trafford – a five day programme celebrating and exploring identity and LGBTQ+ life across the region. Kicking off the programme on Wednesday 13 May is a Rainbow Flag Raising, where Mayor of Trafford Cllr Robert Chilton, Leader, Cllr Andrew Western and CEO Sara Todd will be joined by local children from Wellfield School at Sale Town Hall.
That evening two brand new visual arts exhibitions open at Waterside. HERE presented by Rainbow Noir – a volunteer led group for LGBTQI people of colour; and Behind the Eyes is a new digital work from emerging queer poet, Louis Glazzard exploring our relationship with technology and social media through the queer gaze. Both events are free and drop in.
Concluding a jam-packed opening day are two cultural highlights for lovers of theatre and tv; Queer Culture Chat podcast recording with Art with Heart, who will be discussing queer culture as part of their podcast series; followed by Quick Duck Theatre ’s Yours, Sincerely by Will Jackson (Emerging Writer at The Bush Theatre) based on real life correspondences – storytelling and lipsync cabaret collide in this coming-of-age comedy about the complications of 21st-century communication.
Lipsynching is also key to *gender not included, a one person cabaret performance on Friday 15 May by artist Melody Sproates exploring gender identity and the non-binary experience told entirely through lipsync. Using a collage of sound clips ranging from The Prodigy to Piers Morgan, the show answers timely questions such as: ‘What does non-binary even mean?’ and ‘Are you a boy or a girl?’
With a focus on celebrating LGBTQ+ families, Pride in Trafford 2020 hosts two fantastic Family Gorgeous Story Time Sessions at Urmston and Altrincham Libraries during the festival. Presented by the fabulous members of ‘Family Gorgeous’- (Drag SOS) Manchester’s iconic Drag collective – families can settle in for comfy readings of children’s stories using outlandish and hilarious storytelling skills! Family Gorgeous Story Time allows children to imagine the world where people can present as they wish and where dress up is real. Pop N Olly fans also have a chance to come along and meet writer Olly Pike as he reads some of his well-loved stories with an LGBTQIA+ theme for children. This event is free but booking is essential.
Dance is at the heart of Saturday’s Pride in Trafford line up. In addition to Bright Light Bright Light DJing at the Romy and Michele Saturday Afternoon Tea Dance; Hawk Dance Theatre present A Moment – a ten minute male dance duet exploring a meeting between two strangers. This Manchester based dance company will perform the work three times throughout the day, at different places around Sale on Saturday 16 May. And if you would prefer to participate rather than observe, the Vogue Dance Class presented by House of Ghetto offers the opportunity to learn how to strike a pose with Manchester’s Infamous Mother of House of Ghetto, Darren Pritchard. This afternoon workshop on Saturday 16 May will also teach about the history of vogue culture, the context of the art form and the fundamentals of Vogue Femme.
Cabaret collective, The Cocoa Butter Club return a riotous event last year offering their alternative to Eurovision on Saturday night celebrating and offering a platform to marginalised voices to showcase dancers, performers, poets, burlesque artists and musicians of colour.
Manager of Waterside, Darren Adams says: “We are thrilled to share our line-up for our second Pride in Trafford festival, which follows the success of our inaugural event last year. Pride in Trafford has a clear focus around cultural and community programming, that continues our firm commitment to celebrating diversity, telling stories and showcasing artist across the LGBTQ+ spectrum that are so often under-represented. Everything we believe Pride should be about.
Bright Light Bright Light is a phenomenal artist who champions LGBTQ+ representation with vibrant joyous and uplifting live shows. I am particularly excited about bringing Romy and Michele’s Tea Dance from NYC to Trafford and I’m sure our audiences will love this unique event.
You’ll see many of the events as part of the programme are free, low cost or have discounted tickets available to young people and those on low incomes and we thank our funders and supporters of this important initiative.”
Pride in Trafford runs from Wednesday 13 May to Sunday 17 May 2020 coinciding with the world-wide IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia) on 17 May.
Tickets and further information can be found at prideintrafford.org