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PHOTOESSAY: A playground for queer live art

Edition 29

The House of Savalon's residency at the Queenshilling is a stepping stone for emerging creatives.

Photo: Charley Williams

Get Qweird is a 12-week residency that started in January for emerging queer artists at the Queenshilling. Hosted by The House of Savalon, Bristol’s newest drag cabaret and immersive party troupe, the residency has been extended by popular demand throughout April.

The House of Savalon was born in a bell tent at Wilderness festival last year, and from there has found fame performing at venues like Loco Klub and The Old Crown Courts. They then started working with emerging artists in partnership with Creative Youth Network, which led to the Qweird residency.

Described as a playground for queer art, the residency is fully funded by the Arts Council and helps emerging queer artists develop their practice in front of friendly audiences and includes a bursary for them to make their work and/or expand their wig collection.

The shows are free to watch, with donations on the door to organisations including Freedom Youth, Bristol’s longest-running LGBTQIA+ youth group, and Outspace, which is crowdfunding to open a space for the same community in Old Market. The House of Savalon has so far raised £4000 for these groups, and will be back with another residency in September.

Photos by Charley Williams, the go-to photographer for Bristol’s flourishing, fabulous drag scene.

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