KETCHUP is coming to Leeds! Described as “A Dollop of Queer and Alternative Cabaret and Performance”, this brand new show will celebrate all things queer. Happening on Saturday 19th March at Live Art Bistro, KETCHUP champions the underground, counter-culture and condiments. TSOTA was pleased to chat with Ryan Hogan from KETCHUP Cabaret to find out more.
TSOTA: How would you describe the show in one sentence?
RH: We want to make cabaret that’s sweet, tangy…and a little bit messy!
TSOTA: This is the first ever KETCHUP performance. How did the idea first come about?
RH: It is! And we’re very excited about it! The idea has been brewing for a while now. As a member of the LGBTQ community myself, I have a passion for queer performance. I love its vibrancy, its honesty and I think the stories queer artists have to tell are important. And I think they are often ones that aren’t heard.
I want to create a space and a platform for this work to be seen. Cities like London and Manchester have queer arts scenes which are loud and proud, but I don’t think people realise there are some amazing queer artists making work here in Leeds! I want to be able to showcase that local work, as well as bringing queer artists from across the country to the city. Recently, queer performance spaces have been facing closure, with London venues like The Black Cap and Madame Jojo’s closing down, meaning there are less and less spaces for queer work to be seen. I don’t want to see this happen, and that’s why KETCHUP began!
TSOTA: The idea to celebrate all things queer is so inspiring. What do you hope to achieve with the show?
RH: First and foremost, we want people to have a good night out! We want KETCHUP to be fun, and for audiences and artists to have a space where they can be themselves and have a good time!
But I also think it’s important for people to know we’re serious about creating a space which celebrates queerness in all its shapes and sizes!
I think something else we hope KETCHUP will achieve is opening queer work up to a wider audience. We program queer work, but we don’t want to define our audiences! We want everyone to come to KETCHUP, to see amazing performance and create a real sense of community.
TSOTA: Which artists are lined up to perform in the show? Any rising stars or local performers?
RH: We’ve got 6 amazing artists lined up and we can’t wait to have them perform for us. We’ve got three local artists who are based here in Leeds: Charlotte Victoria Furness, armed with her ukulele and MASSIVE beehive, artist Ryan Thompson with his twist on a Queen’s speech, and Joely Fielding, with a piece all about Accrington club culture.
Then we have 3 more artists coming from across the country! Lucy Hutson will be highlighting the similarities between the Women’s Institute and popular gay dating app Grindr. It seems them queens never stop yapping ‘cause we have two of them: this time from Gameshow with their own take on the Queen’s speech. And finally we have performance collective MOJO company, with a cheeky show all about breasts.
TSOTA: What can audience members expect to see on 19th March?
RH: I think audiences can expect to see the unexpected, there might be some tomato sauce, and there might be some boobs.
TSOTA: Will this become a regular event? Do you have further exciting ideas in the pipeline?
RH: I really hope so! There is so much amazing queer work out there, from drag to dance to live art. I hope that we can make KETCHUP a regular thing to showcase this work here in Leeds. I want KETCHUP to become known as THE queer party to head to, an inclusive, fun and inspiring night where being queer is celebrated! Because everything tastes better with KETCHUP!