All that glitters is gorgeous – our top five unmissable events at MELT Festival this year
Brisbane, the most fabulous time of the year is almost upon us. Dust off your sequins, bust out the rhinestones and take the feather boa out of storage – MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture is back with so much more than a bang, baby! Returning to its spiritual home of the Brisbane Powerhouse from June 28 to July 7, this iconic festival shines a spotlight on what are historically some of the world’s most amazing but marginalised communities, all while celebrating them in every iteration. From filthy-gorgeous cabaret to insightful conversations and high drag, we’ve picked five events at this year’s MELT that you cannot miss.
Dolly Diamond’s Bl*nkety Bl*nks – Saturday Jane 29
Real talk – who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned game show? Furthermore, who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned game show that takes the best part of 70s camp and throws in a delightful cabaret queen to host? Dolly Diamond will be helming a panel of salacious celebrity guests in a game-show homage to the classic TV program Bl*nkety Bl*nks – expect copious amounts of innuendo, light audience participation, a naughty vibe and some truly blanking funny moments from start to finish.
MELT Comedy Gala – Sunday June 30
When it comes to jewels in the heavily adorned MELT crown, they don’t come much more shiny than the inaugural MELT Comedy Gala. This is your chance to get a taste of the full rainbow – you get a little bit of sketch, musical, stand-up and more performed by both queer comedy legends and up-and-coming artists. The ever-sassy Rhys Nicholson will be MCing the night, joined by comedy royalty to the tune of Tom Ballard, Demi Lardner, Jude Perl, Alex Ward, Sam Bowden and Cassie Workman – so basically, you’re going to want to be there.
William Yang: Gay Sydney A Memoir – Sunday July 7
You know how sometimes you encounter people who have accomplished so much that they make you feel lazy? William Yang is one such person. The prolific artist and social commentator (who was born and raised in Queensland) will be closing MELT Festival with a very special address, detailing his personal journey exploring and navigating the gay movement in Sydney. This one-off presentation will feature both William’s brilliant insights and imagery to paint a picture of the gay community – from the soaring highs through to the devastating lows.
Reuben Kaye – Thursday July 4
What do you get when you put lashings of intelligence, a liberal helping of filth, an overflowing portion of comedy, a gallon of gin and a shitload of jewels in a blender? The result of this unholy cocktail is cabaret superstar Reuben Kaye, making his Brisbane debut via MELT Festival. This outrageous star commands the room with a combination of impossible energy, high camp, seriously dirty humour and a voice that will blow you away. Whether you’re new to cabaret or a seasoned fan, Reuben Kaye will knock your socks clean off.
Yank! – July 4–14
As much as we love a classic musical, let’s be honest – representation of non-hetero love and relationships from the history books are few and far between. Yank! is a brand-new production that takes us through the real and hidden history of gay soldiers in World War II, following the classic formula of a love story that pays homage to classic 1940s Hollywood romances. Featuring a cast of 12 performers and a seven-piece live band, Yank! will capture your heart with its honesty, originality and pure theatrical spectacle.
This is just the tip of a particularly bedazzled iceberg – to take a look at the MELT: Festival of Queer Arts and Culture program in all of its glory and snap up tickets to the best events, head to the Brisbane Powerhouse website.