Polari Salon with Paul Burston, Julia Armfield and Alexis Gregory, a Bath Arts Collective event
28 March @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
London’s award-winning literary salon makes a welcome return to Bath, with an evening paying homage to Bowie, lesbian love stories and D.I.S.C.O…..
Inspired by the gay slang of the same name, Polari is a celebration of LGBTQ+ words and voices – on the page and on the stage.
Your host, and Polari founder, Paul Burston kicks off the evening with a reading from his acclaimed memoir We Can Be Heroes, describing how David Bowie saved his life at a time when gay role models were thin on the ground. Bowie’s sexual ambiguity and celebration of the likes of Jean Genet, Christopher Isherwood and Yukio Mishima put the teenage Paul’s head in a whirl, and his music provided sustenance when times were tough.
He’ll be handing over to author Julia Armfield, whose Polari Prize winning novel Our Wives Under The Sea is a speculative blend of sci fi lullaby and lesbian love story, described by Joelle Taylor as a book which expands our understanding of what LGBTQ+ literature can be. She’ll be reading and discussing her work.
After the interval, we time travel into the future with playwright and performer Alexis Gregory and his new show FutureQueer. It’s 2069 – and the whole world is queer. Voguing and lip syncing are categories in the Olympics. There’s a statue of George Michael on Hampstead Heath. The UK has its first openly queer monarch. And Starbucks own Pride (boo!). A celebration of disco as queer resistance, FutureQueer is equal parts theatre, stand-up comedy, DIY lecture and speculative fabulation.
About Paul Burston
Paul Burston is an author, activist and founder of the Polari Literary Salon and Polari Prizes. A founding editor of Attitude magazine, he has written for many publications including the Guardian, Time Out, Times and Sunday Times. His memoir We Can Be Heroes was published by Little A in 2023 to rave reviews from across the industry including from Russell T. Davies and Bernardine Evaristo. ES Magazine called it ‘probably the gay book of the year’.
About the Curious Minds Festival
Running from 7th – 28th March, the Curious Minds Festival features over 30 book talks, live performances, film screenings, writing workshops and walking tours. Taking place across a range of fabulous venues with events to entertain, inform, connect and challenge.
7 March @ 9:30 am – 10:15 am
7 March @ 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm
8 March @ 6:00 pm – 7:40 pm