Outburst 2020 Queer Arts Festival has produced a special set of events that mix performances, learning, films and much more from November 14-21.
With the current restrictions set to end on November 13 performances are set to go ahead with limited numbers and strict social distancing. Should the restrictions remain in place they will be available online.
Whatever happens Outburst is set for success, with a varied programme that will entertain, challenge, and raise a laugh too.
As Festival Director Ruth McCarthy said in her programme notes.it was also about a lot more.
“This year, though, we mostly want to just ask ‘How are you? Are you doing okay?’,” she said. “There’s a lot going on. It’s a very weird time. We’d like to offer you some company.”
And what better company that having Rosa Tralee/Patrick Scullion reading his book Youse on your doorstep, for an exploration of the strange times struggling against instrumentarian power. Limited time slots are available for the 15-minute reading and a signed copy of the book. If you can’t snag one there will be a reading at the Bandstand Ormeau Park on November 15 at 3pm.
If you are out and about the city the historic Smithfield area will showcase and new Outburst commission Our Presence is our Resilience.
It is an on-street exhibition of images from Jamaican queer creative activists shot in Kingston’s Waterfront area showing passion for fashion turned into activism, that will be present throughout the festival.
Being a queer, radical activist and a mum is theme of I Mother, a live performance from Gemma Houston. Mixing theatre, storytelling and wit it will be presented by Gemma on Saturday November 14, and the following evening as well. As with all live shows it will be available in a time limited period online after the show.
Also at the Black Box is Richard O’Leary’s one man show exploring the strange world online dating during lockdown. Performances will be on November 15 and 16.
Any show with the title the Enduring Psychosexual Power of Jeff Goldblum is sure to be a draw. The work of Raphael Amahl Kouri it is an Outburst commission of a one-person work in development. It explores the personal and historical relationship between trans people, theatre, plagues, plants, the Anthropocene, Dionysus, Artaud, Queen Elizabeth I, and Jeff Goldblum. Presented online, accompanied by translator and researcher Alice Guthrie Monday 16 November.
Among the films being shown is Ask Any Buddy directed Evan Purcell is a documentary exploration of gay men’s social history told through gay adult movies and the history of the 1960s culture set in the bars, cinemas, piers and bath-houses of New York and San Francisco to produce an explicit snapshot of urban gay culture. It will be available November 16-21 for streaming via QFT Player.
And, one thing that has to be on the listen-list is the Bad Gay podcast – horrible homo histories covering a variety of colourful villains from Ronnie Kray, Frederick The Great and many more, presented by Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller.
In Partnership with Transgender NI Outburst 2020 has a new theatre and script development initiative for trans and non-binary artists, Transforming Stages  sees four emerging trans and non-binary writers present the work they have been developing with mentors at Black Box on Thursday November 19.
The festival concludes with MASS The Prelude A Queer Ritual for Change on Saturday November 21

Outburst and Belfast Ensemble in collaboration with the Ulster Orchestra present a virtual communion of music, words and visuals that will ultimately see MASS performed in a large scale immersive orchestral performance for Easter 2021.


You can see the full festival programme HERE

For more information go to outburstarts.com