A one-night spectacular which mixes belly-dancing and punk drag with “rabble-rousing” political debate makes a welcome return to Hackney this month.
Question Time Cabaret, the brainchild of artist and writer Talia Randall, is back at Rich Mix on 26 October after last year’s show – centred around the theme of gentrification – proved a sell-out hit.
This time out, a motley collection of activists and artists will focus on the subjects of beauty, body positivity and sexiness.
They will explore questions such as ‘Who gets to decide who is beautiful?’, ‘How can we celebrate bodies and stories that are overlooked and trampled on?’ and ‘How can we dismantle the patriarchy and challenge the male gaze?’.
Randall, who will host proceedings, said: “Expect eye-popping belly dancing, heart-stopping poetry, rabble-rousing debate, patriarchy-smashing drag and so much more.”
She added: “Sometimes the best way into a debate is via entertainment. Instead of shouting at the telly whilst pundits throw out soundbites, we’re trying to create a space where voices who are often overlooked are heard and celebrated.”
This year’s line-up includes plus-size fashion blogger and fat acceptance advocate Stephanie Yeboah, who said of her work: “I do what I do for fat black fat women in the UK because we need a voice. We’re left out of spaces all the time, even the spaces that are meant to be for us.
“Body positivity was created to celebrate fat bodies of all shapes and of all races, and now it just celebrates white bodies of any size now. My work challenges this and so much more and I won’t stop until women like me are heard.”
Joining Yeboah on the bill is poet and burlesque artist Vanessa Kisuule, who will present excerpts from her show Sexy, which covers our conflicted relationships with our bodies.
Chiyo Gomes, the self-styled “punk trash” drag king, will be “serving up porn and politics”, and Sunny the Snake Boy, a bellydancer and serpent master, will be showing off his moves.
They will be joined by Penny Pepper, a “taboo-breaking punk poet and disability advocate”, and Katie Greenall, resident artist at the Camden Roundhouse, who will perform material from her debut show Fatty Fat Fat.
Question Time Cabaret starts at 8pm on Friday 26 October at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA.
Tickets are on sale now for £10 a pop at richmix.org.uk
For more information about the show, or the work of Talia Randall, head to taliarandall.com