Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Tranny Hotel

Friday 11th to Sunday 13th November saw Liverpool's first ever Tranny Hotel set up in the Britannia Adelphi, Liverpool, as part of Homotopia 2011. I was lucky enough to attend both the Saturday and Sunday, and to be invited to deliver my 'Cut Me Up Good' workshops, working with themes of gender, body fascism and popular culture.

It was a wonderful, transformative weekend. I felt rather that I had been changed as much as any of the participants, and I found it truly inspiring to connect and share with such a diverse group of individuals who encompassed the LGBT/queer/hetero spectrum.

The list of artists included in the project is here.

The turnout for my morning workshop was perfect: with me and Paul involved, that brought the number to 10. The collaborative spirit was definitely there. The focus of the session was on creating new work which would be shared as a warm-up for the main evening show with Jonny Woo and Rae Spoon.

In the afternoon I worked with a smaller group to develop performance skills, in preparation for the evening event.

Those who got on stage for the evening sharing definitely took something from the experience. I think they gained confidence and contributed very personal testimonies, which were moving and showed an engagement with language, spoken word and performance skills.

I also think the experience was very transformative for my companion on the trip, Paul. He had never taken part in that kind of workshop before, and yet he was very excited when he realised he was able to produce his own creative work. He was also very inspired by the whole weekend and certainly felt he had learned something new from the experience. He was certainly not the only one.

There were other excellent activities throughout the weekend. Alternative Miss Liverpool, although contentious (with Voodou sponsoring the contest, supplying a judge, and represented by Miss Voodou . . . who won), was a thorough delight for all involved. David Hoyle MC'd, in his typical inimitable style. The Debutantes were especially brilliant.

Mandy Romero and Timberlina's Subversively Yours saw two trans artists lead the public on a promenade through the Bluecoat's Democracy Promenade, discussing the exhibits from a trans viewpoint.

Thom Shaw's Drag Mountain invited the public to drop in on a drag queen laid out on a hotel bed. There they were asked to pick from a pile of clothes and scraps, to take part in making a growing dress, which extended some fifteen feet or so behind her in what I called 'tranny tentacles'. On the Saturday evening, participants took the reins of the vast dress and embarked on a Tranny Trail through Liverpool city centre. This was part bar crawl, part pride parade in miniature, and ended up at Alternative Miss Liverpool.

I missed The Torn Dress, where Mandy wore a dress made of the Liverpool phone book, and tore pieces off in a hotel window. These pieces she wrote words on and stuck to the glass, composing an improvised poem, and ending with a naked Mandy sat in the wndow.

I missed the ritual wedding and a few of the performances, which I would've loved to see, but I'm glad I saw what I did. I only hope I get invited to take part next year as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment