Artists unveiled for Queer Cabaret at Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree

Tuesday 18 June 2024

Artist Kirsty Law, featuring at Glory Cabaret, produced by Look Again at Gray's School of Art & Aberdeen Performing Arts - credit Liam Baker
In celebration of PRIDE month, Look Again at Gray’s School of Art and Aberdeen Performing Arts, are proud to present Glory, a cabaret where queer creativity takes centre stage.

Taking place at the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen on Saturday 22 June, Glory will be hosted by internationally award-winning show boy, host and chanteur, Tom Harlow, and will feature supporting performances from fantastic local artists and cabaret stars from the North East, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Look Again and Aberdeen Performing Arts have commissioned a mix of established performers and emerging talents, who will present a unique glimpse into the rich tapestry of queer experience.

As part of their performance, three of artists have been asked to respond to objects from theRGU Art and Heritage Collections, which houses an extensive collection of historical objects and contemporary art reflecting Robert Gordon University’s history.

The cabaret is being co-produced by Gray’s alumni Bart Grabski, from Look Again at Gray’s School of Art, who tells us more. He says: “We are really excited to be presenting Glory so that queer creativity can take centre stage and we can help amplify the voices of queer artists in cultural programming in the city, particularly as we celebrate PRIDE month.

“This is a unique cabaret, in that some of the artists have been inspired by an item from RGU’s Art & Heritage Collections and will use the artefacts to celebrate queer identities and experiences as part of their performance. We look forward to welcoming LGBTQ+ individuals and allies on the 22 June at Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree.”


Sally Reaper, Director for Look Again at Gray’s School of Art said: “We are delighted to be working with Aberdeen Performing Arts and RGU’s Art & Heritage Collections to deliver this unique project and can’t wait to present ‘Glory’ to members of the public at Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree. RGU has a strong commitment to foster equality, diversity and inclusion and we look forward to showcasing the RGU Art & Heritage Collection through the lens of the LGBTQIA+ community. I’d encourage everyone to come along to enjoy the performance.”

Aberdeen Performing Arts Chief Executive, Sharon Burgess, said: “We have loved being a part of this fantastic project which will be a showcase of such a brilliant range of creative LGBT+ talent and a real celebration of queer identity through a uniquely North East lens.

“Everyone is welcome so come along to the Lemon Tree and enjoy the show.”

As part of the cabaret line up, award winning Jamie McCormick, a genderqueer, multidiscipline performer & creative from Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire, will present an eclectic act that merges opera, drag, burlesque & rock, all wrapped up in a three and a half octave vocal range.

Influenced by their Indian heritage and studies in martial arts and spiritual practices of yoga and tantra, Glasgow based performer Nikhita Devi will combine a mix of Indian classical dance including bellydance (or raqs sharqi) and burlesque as they aim to inspire the LGBTQIA+ community and the South Asian community at home and abroad.

Described as ‘spellbinding’ by BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, queer folk song-maker and storyteller Kirsty Law from Edinburgh, will present a cabaret performance called ‘Widdershins’ which focuses on the taboos related to old Scottish fishing traditions. Using material from Scots traditional canon combined with her own contemporary influences, Kirsty will present a mix of electric and acoustic music dubbed by the Record Collector magazine as ‘folk art-pop’. 

University of Aberdeen film student Will Cozens will also star in the cabaret. They will use Makaton sign language to sign well-known songs from genres such as RnB, pop and musical theatre.

Fashion & Textile student by day and, Drag princess by night, Lavender Menace will bring some energy to the stage of Glory, with a colourful act centred  around gender and sexuality.

The cabaret will be supported by Aberdeen multi-genre vinyl DJ, Thought Criminal, beset known for their hard, high-energy mixes combining industrial, acid and old school techno with a sprinkling of trance, rave and hard house.

The project is funded by Aberdeen Performing Art and RGU Art & Heritage Collections supported by Look Again at Gray’s School of Art.

Main image shows artist Kirsty Law, credit Liam Baker. Gallery images, (left to right), includes artists: Jamie McCormick, Lavender Menace, Will Cozens, Nikhita Devi, Bart Grabski (producer), Tom Harlow (Host), 'Olive & Anya', Miriam Foy, , Kirsty Law. Group image (left to right) includes: Sally Reaper, Jennifer Louden, Colin Farquhar, Hanna Louise, Susan Whyte and Bart Grabski. Final gallery image shows RGU Art & Heritage Artefacts, that have inspired some of the Glory cabaret performers.

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