Midsumma is finally here. It’s been a long time coming and 2013 is an exciting year for the festival as it notches up its 25th year; it’s silver jubilee. That’s 25 years of presenting shocking, dazzling, heart-warming and challenging shows and performances from and/or for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities. That’s 25 years of bringing together the community, seeing old pals and reminiscing over past adventures. But it’s also about meeting fresh faces, exploring new ideas through the many performances at hand and looking to the future for this vivid group of people bound together by their sexuality, sex or gender.
Debate over the importance of identity for the LGBTI community is often heated and divided but the Midsumma Festival continues to rope in all groups together for a short time to celebrate the remarkable qualities of LGBTI people. The Midsumma Carnival kicks off the festival this Sunday followed by the parties-not-to-miss, T Dance and the Gold Party. But here are just a few new shows premiering at this year’s festival.
Luciana & Paulini join T DANCE
Birrarung Marr, Sun 13 Jan 11am-6pm
Feisty UK pop sensation Luciana (pictured left) and Aussie diva Paulini (pictured above) join the bill for the biggest party on Melbourne’s gay calendar, T Dance. The Midsumma Festival kicks off this Sunday, January 13 with the Midsumma Carnival, followed by talent-packed T Dance at Birrarung Marr Park. Both artists join an already strong line-up with Wayne G, Ruby Rose, M.A.F.I.A, DJ L’IL MISS K, DJ Mike Evans and the Midsumma National DJ search winner, DJ Emilioh.
Check out Midsuma’s hot T-Dance promo video below:
Southbank Theatre, Jan 15-19
One in ten gay couples have children now days, according to the last ABS census. That’s more than 3,000 families in Australia and a lot of gay dads changing nappies and lesbian mums wheeling around prams. But a new play commissioned by Midsumma is taking a different tact and gaining a view of gay families from inside the pram. Gaybies follows real life stories of children with same-sex parents, surrogate mums, donor dads, co-parents and guardians. It’s an exciting prospect, as creator Dean Bryant interviewed gaybies in pre-school and gaybies with kids of their own. The personal stories are heart-warming but challenging due to the still heated-nature surrounding gay families. Some of Australia’s favourite performers and newcomers are involved including Dancing with the Stars’ Todd McKenney, actresses Virginia Gay and Kate Kendall. Drag identity Trevor Ashley and theatre stars Alex Rathgeber and Christie Whelan lead this top-notch cast at the MTC’s Southbank Theatre.
THE PRINCE’S QUEST
Northcote Town Hall, Jan 18-27
An arts festival is just not the same without a panto. Luckily, The Prince’s Quest is coming to Midsumma this year with its musical-comedy musings. The fairy tale is far from traditional though, working gay marriage into this humourous production. It follows Prince Warwick, who at the request of his nymphomaniac parents, sets out into the kingdom to find himself a princess. Warwick encounters the unusual suspects with unlikely twists, all the time accompanied by his horse Cinnamon, his teddy bear Sir Arthur and the friendly but frank comic narrator. His quest leads him to meet a witch with a romantic penchant for the prince, instead of a culinary one. He also meets a fishcake-obsessed king, a princess who designs edible footwear and another with deadly combat skills but finally, the prince of his dreams. While raunchy at times, the troupe have also created a family-friendly version of the show during the festival.
MOVIES UNDER THE STARS 2013
Various cinemas, Jan 18-Feb 2
The Melbourne Queer Film Festival have pulled together another stellar line-up of queer films for this year’s Midsumma. At the Fairfield Ampitheatre, there will be four films shown over consecutive weekends starting on January 18. Movie goers can bring a picnic blanket and hamper as the sun sets over the Yarra River, watching Leave It On the Floor (Jan 18), Co-dependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (Jan 19), Were the World Mine (Jan 25) or The Wise Kids (Jan 26). At the Williamstown Library, Priscilla Queen of the Desert is making a come-back on January 21 – so rustle out those feather boas for this free screening. On January 25, Gasworks Art Park is screening Albert Nobbs, the curious film starring Glenn Close who disguises herself as a man to survive. Over three Saturday nights starting on January 19, Paloma Bar will showcasing a series of outstanding short queer films from around the world.
PRESS PLAY: Click here to check out our hot Midsumma Festival 2013 VIDEO PLAYLIST featuring festival previews, artist and performer interviews, and behind the scenes exclusives from Midsumma 2013.