Derby Theatre to host Trans, Non-Binary, and Gender-Queer Festival - Come as You Are

Celebrating Trans, Non-Binary, and Gender-Queer identities at Derby Theatre as part of this bold and brilliant festival, headlined by BULLISH by Milk Presents

In 2017, Camden People’s Theatre staged Come As You Are, a festival celebrating trans, non-binary and gender-queer identities. This year, for the first time ever, CPT are bringing their unique brand of daring, dazzling art to Derby Theatre, with shows that explode and explore ideas around gender and sexuality, searching the rubble for answers, and passing the mic to the lesser heard voices of the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.

At Derby Theatre from Friday 12 October to Friday 14 October, the festival will be headlined by the award-winning show BULLISH, created by the team behind the smash hit Joan, alongside two other performances: Bound by Lucy Hutson and Edalia Day's Too Pretty to Punch. Come As You Are hopes to build lasting relationships between its tour venues and their local LGBTQIA+ community through accompanying activity including a scratch night featuring local LGBTQIA+ artists and a panel discussion featuring local queer influencers. In the week leading up to the festival, a BULLISH photography exhibition will be installed at Derby Theatre, and each show will be captioned by the Difference Engine, which sends captions to audience member’s mobile phones or tablets.

Festival headliner BULLISH is the story of Theseus and the Minotaur re-molded and transformed by Milk Presents. A gender fierce ensemble of hopers and renegades pass, pack and blag their way out of the Labyrinth, re-defining the myths that shape our identity. The Minotaur, a creature who is half-man and half-bull, lives alone within a complex and cavernous Labyrinth. Feared by society they are used as a threat against the enemies of Crete and are left to their solitary existence. That is until Theseus arrives, a young warrior set on killing the minotaur at all costs. A tale of treachery, power and love, hell bent on not taming the minotaur within. 

In Bound, Lucy Hutson will be asking about the slippery nature of identity: the ones you give yourself, the ones forces onto you and the ones you cling onto, and in Too Pretty to Punch Edalia Day grapples what it means to be human when you don’t fit into any of the boxes. 

We are incredibly excited to be a host venue for Come As You Are, in celebration of our LGBTQI+ population and to demonstrate our committment to developing our relationship with LGBTQIA+ artists and audiences.

Brian Logan, Artistic Director of Camden People’s Theatre, said “We couldn’t be more excited to be taking the ‘Come As You Are’ show on the road. The 2017 festival was a huge hit at CPT. It drew – and delighted – a highly diverse crowd, brought some cracking performances to the stage, sparked fascinating conversations – and taught us a lot about gender positivity. We’re grateful to have the chance to share that learning, and several of those electrifying shows. The ‘CAYA’ tour also realises an ambition for CPT to make our themed festivals – so well loved by London audiences – available to theatregoers around the country. We can’t wait to work with the artists, our partner venues and local audiences to make the travelling ‘Come As You Are’ roadshow a resounding success.”

Camden People’s Theatre is a central London space dedicated year-round to supporting early-career artists – particularly those making work about issues that matter to people right now. Its mission is to refresh and strengthen the performance sector with a new generation of artists who bring a fresh perspective to contemporary concerns, and create new artistic forms with which to address them; and to present their work to a new generation of audiences. CPT regularly stages festivals of adventurous theatre exploring contemporary social, political and cultural issues. Recent examples include: Common People, on working class experience (2018), Hotbed: A Festival of Sex (2017) and Whose London is it Anyway? on the housing crisis (2016).

Join the movement: @CamdenPT | Insta: @camdenpeoplestheatre | #CAYATour