The pride of Manchester

Pete Devine looks forward to 5 glitzy days in May.
April 12, 2022

Putting difference centre stage is what one council in Greater Manchester aims to do in 2022.

To that end, Trafford Council, will launch a five-day extravaganza not just by celebrating queer culture in all its many guises, but also helping audiences of all ages to explore the themes that surround it.

Now in its third year, Pride in Trafford 2022, runs from Tuesday May 17 to Saturday, May 21, by bringing together an exciting and diverse range of performers and performances, from comedy, cabaret, storytelling and events including photography and physical theatre.

Live cabaret and comedy features prominently and includes musical theatre diva Viviennede Vil. In a brand-new show With One Look, our Viv sings through life’s ups and downs, by embracing the future one show tune at a time.

Laugh Riot returns for an evening of the best in alternative comedy. The line-up is set to include comic Kate McCabe, and stand-up drag queen Red Redmond. The evening will be headlined by critically acclaimed stand-up Bethany Black, who was described by the British Comedy Guide as: "one of the UK circuit's finest night-time raconteurs". The event will raise money for the Proud Trust.

Professional dancer and choreographer Rowena Gander presents an experimental and thought-provoking new work through pole dance fusion. Her one woman show Barely Visible brings together dance and the spoken word to shed a light on common issues that queer women face, including sexualisation, (fe)male gaze and the pain often suffered living in the shadows.

The more visual elements of this year’s event include award-winning photographer Allie Crewe’s moving and poignant exhibition Your Own Light, featuring a series of striking portraits of trans/non-binary subjects and is one of the highlights of this year’s event. It was Crewe’s stunning portrait of Grace, a transgender woman, which won her a national award in 2019. Grace is part of Your Own Light exhibition which will open for Pride in Trafford and run until July. It also features new photographs of LGBTQ+ people living in Greater Manchester.

The visual arts element continues with Interstice, a digital display and autobiographical embodiment of artist Paul Scott Bullen’s experience of homophobic resistance.

Events for younger audiences also sit at the heart of this year’s programme, with local groups – Gorse Hill Studios, Rainbow Reflections and Cooking Club - coming together to create a fun and free special Pride event for young people in Trafford. There’ll be cooking followed by lots of activities, including quizzes, music and arts, all curated by and for young people.

Avid younger readers and lovers of all things gothic and vampire(y) are invited to a very special meet the author event, with Emmy Clarke, of Vampire Hunter Jess fame, a funny and heart-warming short story for children. Told through a mix of prose and unanswered text messages, it covers light LGBTQ+ themes, and explores grief, friendship, and found family.

This year’s event goes out on a high note with an outdoor presentation Wildflower which promises to be a fun floral pop-up performance that celebrates being your vibrant, colourful self even under the even harshest conditions. Presented by the producers of the award-winning Curious Arts Festival, this joyous promenade show will see Wildflowers ride by on their flowery trikes, handing out and creating a welcoming environment where everyone can thrive. Throughout the afternoon, Pride in Trafford and local eaterie Mano a Bocca will host a free outdoor celebration on Sale’s Waterside Plaza, with family friendly activities and a chance to find out more about some local organisations.

The Pride event producer Darren Adams explains: “There is a real sense of coming together. Through their work, all our performers celebrate inclusivity, love, diversity and togethernessand one thing that really stands out and encapsulates this year’s programme is that ourdifferences can unite us and that it is something to embrace and celebrate.

“We cannot wait to see the community back celebrating Pride in Trafford for five days of queer joy, fun and pride.” 

For more information on venues and events, plus tickets.