Top Picks For Outburst Arts Festival 2017

Outburst Arts have just released their 2017 programme so here's our top 5 picks

The Outburst Arts 2017 logo with a puppeteer in a blue jumper blocking the eyes of a cuddly puppet

Outburst Arts is back for its eleventh year of festivities, celebrating queer culture, art and performance with some incredible shows, films and workshops you don’t want miss.

This year’s festival is being dedicated to queer artist, illustrator, performer and so much more Patrick Sanders, who took his own life earlier this year.

If you didn’t get to see Lucy McCormick’s award-winning Triple Threat in the Dublin Fringe Festival this year, it’s back as part of Outburst 2017 so definitely worth checking out, but without any further ado, here are our top picks for Outburst…


GCN Town Hall Talks | Lesbians: Who’s Looking?

One of the performances at this year's outburst arts festival with three black and white photos of women

First up is our very own Town Hall Talks discussion panel, ‘GCN Town Hall Talks | Lesbians: Who’s Looking?’, featuring our very own Lisa Connell, journalist Una Mullally, Debs Gatenby, Sonya Mulligan and others to discuss the representation of lesbian women in the media.

“Is it still hard to see lesbians – even though in some ways we are more available to look at in mainstream culture than ever, with lesbian characters, lesbian films, lesbian tv shows,” the description reads.

“Are some lesbians still more visible than others when it comes to cultural representation?”

Join the panel discussion IRL as the final part of the Lesbians: Who’s Looking afternoon from 2-5pm (tickets £5) – featuring spoken word performance from Una Mullally, a preview film-taster presented by Sonya Mulligan, and a performance from comedian Debs Gatenby – or watch it from the comfort of your own home when we broadcast on Facebook Live on Saturday, November 18 at 4:20pm.


How To Unexplode

One of the performances at this year's outburst arts festival showing an illustration of someone with glasses looking out a window

The How to Unexplode exhibition was created in collaboration with Patrick Sanders’ friends and family and will showcase a curated selection of the work he left behind.

“A gentle radical, his work ranged from the absurd and playful to the unapologetically incendiary in responding to inequality, prejudice and political homophobia in Northern Ireland.”

The exhibition invites attendees to step into the world of Sanders, and promises to give a “glimpse into the mind of a wonderful artist whose legacy is one of joy, resistance, and glorious mischief.”

How To Unexplode is dedicated to fearlessness, to love and above all to hope.”

The exhibition runs November 9 – 25 from 11am-5pm every day (except Sundays) and admission is free!


A Cock & Bull Story

One of the performances at this year's outburst arts festival with a man in a boxing pose against a black background

This piece of theatre examines masculinity and homophobia in the world of machismo-laden competitive boxing.

“In the confines of a boxing changing room, an up-and-coming fighter and his coach prepare for an important match,” the programme reveals.

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“As they psych up for the big fight that will take them from nowhere to the somewhere of unlimited booze and women, it emerges that Travis experiences sexual arousal in the ring

“This is disturbing to homophobic Jacko and creates an unexpected psychological and physical tension between the two friends, as notions of masculinity are challenged.”

A Cock & Bull Story has two performances on November 15 and 16, at 7:30pm in The American Bar, tickets £6.50.


The Butch Monologues

One of the performances at this year's outburst arts festival with five butch people covered in yellow

The Butch Monologues promises to offer some unique insight into female masculinity and butch pride.

The Butch Monologues is a powerful and humorous collection of secret stories exploring sexuality, vulnerability and desire, taken from interviews with butches, masculine women and gender rebels living world-wide.

A collaborative project involving Julie McNamara, Laura Bridgeman, Vital Xposure and The Drakes, this is “the continuation of a project by a group of butches, transmen and gender rebels who joined together in the spirit of masculine solidarity, with the aim of promoting female masculinity and butch pride.”

To celebrate the publication of The Butch Monologues book, the show will incorporate performances of some of the stories found in the book.

The Butch Monologues will be in Black Box on November 17 at 8pm, tickets £8 (£6 concession).



One of the performances at this year's outburst arts festival showing David Hoyle in front of an orange and yellow background with make-up on and a bowler hat

David Hoyle is bringing his unique brand of theatre to Belfast’s Black Box theatre with a scripted stage show created in collaboration with award-winning diretor Mark Whitelaw.

The show will explore LGBT+ history in the UK spanning six decades from 1957 to 2017 and feature special guests The LipSinkers.

“Weaving intimate personal experiences with landmark political and social events, Diamond charts David’s rise from gay adolescent in Blackpool to Channel 4 anti-drag queen cult phenomenon.

“Revisiting events such as the Wolfenden Report, the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, the repeal of Section 28 and the lives of prominent gay figures such as Alan Turing, this rousing and moving theatre show offers bare moments of personal reflection, fresh insights into queer history and a timely reminder of what we still have to fight for.”

Diamond has one performance on November 10 at 8:30pm sharp, so get your tickets (£12) early to avoid disappointment.


What are you most looking forward to?

The full programme is available to view online here and tickets will be available to purchase form


© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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