So it is that time of year again, but this year seems even more special doesn’t it? It’s Midsumma’s 25th anniversary and I’m sure for the pioneers of this celebrated annual event, the fact that the festival is still going is a great source of pride.
In this, our Carnival issue, we bring you nothing but Midsumma.
There’s Michael Magnusson’s potted history of Midsumma since its inception in 1988. It’s a wild ride through the different presidents, successes, failures and near death experiences; however in the end, it is a celebration of the little festival that said, ‘I can’.
We also bring you a host of events happening throughout the next few weeks.
There’s an interview with the much lauded Ash Flanders about his new role as Chicklet in Charles Busch’s, Psycho Beach Party. We also chat with the director of Here Lies Henry , Jason Langley, about how he’s tackled this particular production of Daniel MacIvor’s play. We move onto the La Mama show, Cock (probably all I need to say about that one for some of you), and then we speak with former Midsumma head honchos, Brenton Geyer and Kris Darmody, about their visual arts exhibition, The Gay Agenda. This exhibition shines a light on some of the ridiculous arguments that have reared up in the case against marriage equality in quite a quirky way.
If that’s not enough, how about the stunning line-up of events at everyone’s favourite bookshop, Hares and Hyenas? From Catherine Deveny to the launch of DUDE #3, this year Crusader Hillis and Rowland Thomson have done, as they have done for too many years to remember now, delivered the best in queer literary events anywhere in this country. In this issue, as well as all of our issues over Midsumma we will keep you up to date with what’s happening at the ‘Hare Hole’.
But wait, there’s more. Drag queens anyone? In case you didn’t know, our cover girl this issue is none other than Paris. This grand dame of Melbourne’s drag scene has been immortalised by the incredible Brett Willis who is returning to Midsumma this year with 2NARAMA. Willis has caricaturised the who’s who of Melbourne’s queer scene for a long time now as well as a host of celebs all starting way back with Olivia Newton-John. We look forward to seeing who he has ‘done’ at his latest exhibition.
Finally, you will notice in our Carnival stage line-up pages that we have a new columnist. Please welcome the current Midsumma festival manager, Monique Thorpe. Monique will be joining us for the next four issues bringing us a diary of sorts of what’s been happening and what we can expect from the festival.
There’s nothing left to say but, Happy Midsumma!