Come As You Are Festival – Exeter

Dates and Times

Sat 17 - Sun 18 Nov 2018 at Various Times

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A festival of trans, non-binary and gender queer theatre.

When did you come out as male? Or female? Camden People’s Theatre and Exeter Phoenix will be taking over the venue with a host of performances and workshops from gender-anarchists with more questions than answers.

It’s not going to be pretty – but it might just be beautiful.

Exeter Phoenix

Come As You Are Scratch Night

Sat 17 Nov | 5pm | BOOK TICKETS

A night of explosive new work from local trans, non binary and gender queer artists. Our Come As You Are Festival Scratch event will feature three 20 minute work-in-progress performances of new ideas in development. Join us and discover new work, by local artists, interrogating and celebrating gender from cis to trans, from binary to beyond.

Applications to have your piece programmed in the festival scratch night are now open. Deadline to apply Thursday 4th October. More info.

Non-Binary Electro Hour
By Ray Filar

Sat 17 Nov | 9pm | BOOK TICKETS

“What are you if you’re not a man or a woman, when the world forces you to be one or the other?

And what does drag even mean if you’re not a king or a queen?

Also…how can I make this into a musical?”

Non-Binary Electro Hour brings together noise about queer life, and desire for queer/trans bodies, with a brief punk history of drag outside the boxes – from queer stars of stage and screen to the gender-bending icons of today. Expect songs, sci fi, strip-tease, and spoken word. This modern-day revue is a messed up take on what it’s like to be in-between categories. Non-Binary Electro Hour sold out its first two runs at Camden Peoples’ Theatre. Now it goes on tour for more celebrations of gender variance and fantasy.

Panel Discussion: Queer Spaces: Where, When and How?

Sun 18 Nov | 3pm | BOOK TICKETS

We will be looking at the ‘pop up’ nature of Queer spaces and discussing ways in which they could be made more permanent. Why do the majority of Queer politics and discussions tend to happen around one off events such as festivals, nights and Pride? How do we use these temporary Queer spaces to nourish the permanent Queer community outside of these events? And is there a way of increasing LGBTQIA+ presence in wider political and cultural life?


Rhys Slade-Jones (they/them) is a Welsh, working class, queer artist. Rhys’s work interrogates notions of gender identity in relation to place and time, with particular focus on shifting gender identities in working class communities. Rhys co-produces The Shift, an artist collective creating cabaret performances with and for working class people in Portsmouth.

Kimwei (he/him, non-binary, AFAB, 33) is a singer-songwriter, non-binary trans activist, speaker and workshopper. In 2017 his original song ‘Nothing’s Binary’ went viral in the Exeter LGBTQ+ community through its music video with Billie Bottle and the resultant project by the same name still continues to grow –
Max Cohen is Manager of the Help, Support and Advocacy Team at the Intercom Trust  which provides support, training and consultancy around a range of needs and concerns affecting LGBT+ communities and individuals. He has been at The Intercom Trust in different roles, for around 20 years, including as a trustee, counsellor and helpline worker supporting people with their gender identity and sexual orientation.

He is particularly interested in the many aspects affecting trans+ and non-binary people, including individual creativity, the expression of gender diversity and the factors that can affect resilience.

Katja Frisinger (they/them) is a nonbinary lesbian from the USA. They are currently the Publicity Officer for Spectrum Choir, Devon’s first LGBT+ choir, and have previously performed at BeYou, a popular local LGBT+ club night. While at the University of Exeter, they were heavily involved in the LGBTQ+ Society and Feminist Society, where they gave multiple lectures on issues of gender and intersectionality. In their spare time, they are often found discussing the issues marginalised people face, and how to make the spaces around them safer for everyone

I’m Bitter About Glitter & Deuce – DOUBLE BILL

Sun 18 Nov | 7pm | BOOK TICKETS

I’m Bitter About Glitter
By Liz Clarke

The piece collides extravagant fantasy and the reality of mother and child making a piece of work together.

I’m Bitter About Glitter is a gentle exploration of identity and how this is presented in terms of gender and choice. Jam packed with wild tales, glamour, grit and sparkles, expect a joy filled adventure with a message of hope for the future.  The piece, created for families to enjoy together – welcomes adult audiences as part of the ‘Come As You Are’ festival.


Devised by Rachael Miles and Tom Marshman.

This work explores the 30th anniversary of the introduction of Section 28, the infamous legislation that banned local authorities from ‘promoting’ homosexuality and had a profoundly damaging effect on the ability to be visible as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) person without fear of, or actual, reprisal. Growing up in the grip of clause 28 Tom and Rachael took their role models where they could find them, from Martina Navratilova, The Fall Guy, Princess Leigh to Cindy and KD Lang.

Deuce explores female masculinities and male femininities using pop cultural references to unpick historical representations of gender non-conformity and reinsert/instate them (and their relevance) into contemporary ‘queer’ discourse.

Milk presents
Written and Directed by Lucy J Skilbeck

Sun 18 Nov | 8.30pm

“I am a bull. I am a bull…ish. I live between worlds. Slip between myths with dexterous leaps. Do I scare you? How about now?”

From the makers of smash hit Joan (Off West End, Fringe First and Stage Award winner) Milk Presents bring you Bullish. Bullish pits ancient mythology against modern gender navigation to furiously disrupt, traverse and rewrite the rulebook. Stepping into the ring with a gender fierce ensemble of hopers and renegades, Bullish is a story about packing, passing, and gambling your way out of the labyrinth.

A new mythical play with songs, negotiating ancient and new territories in trans-masculine gender and identity. This show drops a proverbial bull into a china shop and hopes it breaks everything.

★★★★ ‘A radical message in a populist show, wringing new meanings from an ancient myth’ What’s On Stage




Upcoming Performances