MELT: Festival of Queer Arts And Culture 2019 Programme

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Reuben Kaye performs as part of MELT this year. Reuben Kaye performs as part of MELT this year.

Arm the confetti cannons, break out the bedazzlers... MELT is making a triumphant return to Brisbane.


It's another programme of spectacular events, dazzling performances and provocative discussions. The ten-day event takes place from late June, with a packed series of events designed to celebrate LGBTIQ+ arts and culture, promoting visibility and inclusivity among the community.

With close to 35 productions, exhibitions and events, MELT is set to inject sparkle and substance into Brisbane for its fifth year.

Guest Director Emily Gilhome says MELT is keen to again roll out the rainbow carpet to welcome everyone.

“We’ve worked really hard this year to produce a program that represents all segments of the LGBTIQ+ arts community,” Emily says.

“This year’s festival also offers incredible diversity across its content so we’re seeing outrageous cabaret, over- the-top comedy and a bigger and better MELT Beauty Pageant sitting alongside deeply introspective visual art exhibitions, though-provoking panels and talks, and powerful first-person pieces.”

The 2019 programme shines the spotlight on talented local artists as well as giving artists from abroad opportunities to shine in Brisbane.

Highlights include international cabaret superstar Reuben Kaye showcasing his signature blend of lavish storytelling and gilded song in 'One Night Only!'; Australian cabaret queen Dolly Diamond bringing classic TV game show 'Bl*nkety Bl*nks' to the stage; and the MELT Comedy Gala pairing queer comedy legends with emerging comedians for a night of non-stop laughs.

MELT GenericShot 2019

There will also be no shortage of vastly different theatre pieces across the Powerhouse stages... 'Baby Bi Bi Bi' about being a bisexual woman; 'La Silhouette', an immersive performance that brings Brisbane's queer history to life; 'Yank!', based on the real-life experiences of gay soldiers in World War II... The list goes on.

Brisbane's LGBTIQ+ community will tell their unique stories across all mediums including 'The Trailblazers – Elders Panel'; first-person piece, 'My Trans Story'; improvisational work, 'Trade'; and verbatim theatre production, 'Letters I Never Sent'.

Festival favourites returning in 2019 include the show stopping MELT Beauty Pageant – expanding to include heats and a final – Tragic Trivia, Gayming, MELT With Us opening night party and The Bowery Haus closing night costume soiree.

Brisbane Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewart says MELT is an annual invitation to celebrate Brisbane’s wonderfully diverse queer communities and its guest list was growing each year.

“Brisbane Powerhouse has been a home for the LGBTIQ+ community since we opened our doors, so it’s been brilliant to watch MELT thrive, attracting more than 8,500 attendees in 2018,” Kris says.

“MELT’s 2019 programme is a celebration of love, pride, humour, humanity and rebellion but above all, it’s one of acceptance and inclusivity.”

MELT Festival runs at Brisbane Powerhouse from 27 June-7 July.

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