Hello, dears! A belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.
Mother spent a few days of absolute bliss with her feet up and a strong G&T in hand for Christmas and New Year, giving her time to reflect on what has been her busiest and best year yet! Nine shows across four different venues in two cities, working with 42 different artists and playing to nearly 1,000 audience members – that much hard work will bring some colour to your cheeks!
We’re looking forward to 2015, which kicks off with our Queer Contact 2015 Special: Mother Lovin‘ bringing host of amorous local, national and international queer cabaret acts to Manchester. Book your tickets now!
In the meantime, let’s take a moment to recap on some highlights from 2014.
Who’s Got The Max Factor 2014?
For Contact‘s annual celebration of all things queer, Mother’s Ruin presented ‘Who’s Got The Max Factor 2014?’ – a talent show like no other, studded with special guest performances from Timberlina, Myra Dubois and My Bad Sister. In one nail-biting evening, nine artists from across the North West took to the Space 1 stage in a bid to wow our audiences in 4 minutes and bag a £250 cash grand prize.
Mother’s Ruin: Who’s Got The Max Factor 2014?
We had dance, comedy, drag, music and more, and it was a very close call – but the title was won and thoroughly deserved by Joshua Hubbard’s inventive dance, receiving the lion’s share of the audience vote!
In June, Mother curated a very special after-show cabaret to accompany Puffball, a brand new production devised and performed by world class circus performers and young LGBTQ performers, commissioned by The Roundhouse (London); CAST (Doncaster), Contact and Manchester Royal Exchange.
Puffball – Image by Stephen King
Taking place over two nights and set in the magnificent Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre’s Great Hall, Mother programmed a selection of her own young LGBTQ performers in the spirit of the main show, presented by Timberlina and including audience favourites Jackie Hagan, Jonathan Richardson, Joshua Hubbard, Patrick Carroll-Fogg, Gareth Cutter, Anna Phylactic & Ruth Cocker, and Sheela Blige, who all received some much deserved praise from critics.
“Mother’s Ruin Puffball Cabaret is a hugely funny, greatly varied and sharply intelligent show, the best in exploratory queer performance.” – The Public Reviews
New Venues, New Artists!
For her Summer and Autumn season of shows, Mother paid a visit to some brand new venues, as well as maintaing her long-standing run at Contact.
In August and October, she got her knees up and let her hair down at legendary music venue, The Roadhouse, the perfect nightspot for her to unleash live music, alt drag, acerbic spoken word and pumping DJ sets on an audience of partygoers. On the way she met brand new audiences and programmed a vast array of work: from alien-synth rock and gender bending country and western, to possibly the world’s FIRST drag-baby birth.
Grace Oni Smith and Violet Blonde at Roadhouse Return
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Mother swapped the G&T for some heartier tipples at Salfordian-boozer The King’s Arms in September and November, where she brought two sold-out cabaret evenings of new work in development to their upstairs studio theatre space, under the banner of Mother’s Bloomers.
This is our dedicated platform for new, emerging and established artists to take risks and try out new ideas in front of a supportive audience. We’ve had interactive theatre auditions, singing and dancing tigers, a man with 1,000 cabarets acts and more! We’re especially proud to have had artists from as far afield as Coventry, Sheffield and Leeds to show work with us.
Dan Craddock at Mother’s Bloomers
These shows have been supported by our Artist Development Programme, which offers free rehearsal and professional mentoring opportunities for artists to take ideas from the page to the stage, and has had some tremendous feedback from participants.. We’re always on the lookout for new artists to work with. To find out more, contact us!
The workshop was a great way of settling ideas of how the performance would fit in the space… most of all it was great to have some direct, informative feedback on my show. I liked how it was very much an open atmosphere and not a panel style ‘audition’ feel, as some showings can be. – Workshop Attendee Feedback
It’s been a real treat working with fresh faces, and Mother’s looking forward to doing it all again and more this year! But most of all, she looks forward to seeing you at our future shows!