EVENT REVIEW: Curious Arts Fundraiser @ Gosforth Civic Theatre (10.09.21) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image: Gladys Duffy

Producers of the award-winning Curious Festival and coordinators of queer arts network Queer Arts North, Curious Arts consolidated their position as all-around champions of local LGBTQIA+ culture with their 2021 Fundraiser; a night of laughter and love, jam-packed with live music, drag, comedy and dance.

Focused on raising funds to support LGBTQIA+ artists and young people across the North East, the audience was warmed up masterfully by drag queen and self-proclaimed geriatric twink of Toon talent Gladys Duffy before being handed off to the gloriously savage Jonathan Mayor.

Compering the evening and resplendent in glittering — and occasionally testicle-baring — robes, Mayor was self-effacing, witty and the perfect host, irresponsible both on-stage and off, wandering among the crowd during the interval and after the show in relentless pursuit of a good time for all.

Queer Jewish dance artist Jesse Salaman took to the stage with Toi Guy to anchor the night in the avant-garde, bringing us two sets featuring the queer awakening of Justin Bieber and a post-apocalyptic sci-fi blame game, the through-line of both being a toy rabbit.

A screening of short film Grit and Glory showcased a searing and profoundly expressive work, grounding highly physical performances with the character and humanity that are the cornerstone of collaborative arts company Paradox Pictures.

Newcastle drag queen Choriza May also delivered two stellar performances ahead of an imminent return to our screens in September as one of the 12 contestants on Drag Race UK’s third season. First up, a deeply moving and entirely Spanish tale of the moon and a bull was capped off by a vivid and arresting plea for the abolition of bullfighting and an admonishment for those cloaking cruelty in the garb of cultural tradition. Then, setting the stage for Martha Hill to end the night, Choriza returned in full rubber devil regalia for two barnstorming dance numbers and a rendition of Rowan Atkinson’s legendary Toby the Devil set, specifically the one-off performance at London’s Palladium for Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday celebration, updated with a special place in hell reserved for Donald Trump.

Ending the night, Newcastle-based musician Martha Hill was heartfelt, funny and endearingly self-deprecating of their enormous talent, with songs Spiders, Change and Grilled Cheese being real set highlights, before host Jonathan Mayor got behind the whole crowd in demand for one more tune, as Martha rounded off the night with the beautiful 151 and landing a rapturous close to an unforgettable evening.

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout